Governor will be in Clovis to sign bill

Freedom New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will be in Clovis on Saturday to sign legislation creating a water authority for the Ute Water Project. The ceremony is 11:30 a.m. at the north annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library. The bill changes the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority from a joint powers agreement to a […]

Water authority bill heads to governor’s desk

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer A bill to revamp the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority got to Gov. Bill Richardson’s desk without springing any leaks. House Bill 15 passed the House and Senate on unanimous votes, and will move the authority from a joint powers agreement to a utility authority in June. Gov. […]

City council supports formation of new regional water authority

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior staff writer The Portales City Council voted Tuesday to support the formation of a new regional water authority, under certain conditions. The council approved a resolution supporting House Bill 15, in its current state, which would establish an Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority to manage the Ute Water Pipeline […]

Portales has issues with Ute authority language

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico MELROSE — The Ute Water Project trickled closer to reality Thursday with local entities reaching agreement on several key issues. But representatives of communities planning to be part of the $432 million project want at least one more study session to iron out their differences on proposed state legislation […]

Proposed water authority draws ire from city officials

By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer Portales’ City Council invited members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority to a workshop meeting on Tuesday. At issue was a proposed bill introduced at the last New Mexico Legislature, one that would create a separate utility authority in charge of distributing water from Ute Lake to […]

City councilors meet tonight

PNT staff Portales city councilors will meet with members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority in a workshop at 6 p.m. today at City Hall. The primary emphasis of the meeting, according to Mayor Orlando Ortega, is the proposed expansion of regulatory powers by the water authority. Ortega said Portales city representatives don’t […]

Portales officials wary of proposed water authority legislation

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico Orlando Ortega remembers his early days on the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, when he felt entities in Quay County were holding back production of the Ute Water Project. Now, it’s years since those entities left, and the pipeline project has been approved by Congress and President Obama,

Water authority meeting focused on funding

Freedom New Mexico The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority meets from 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Clovis-Carver Public Library Ingram Room. This is the first meeting for the authority since the Ute Water Project was authorized and funded by Congress. The authority will oversee the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to deliver water […]

Portales city council wary of water authority bill

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer Portales city officials are concerned about a legislative bill that would establish a new water authority for eastern New Mexico and give it the right to set sewer rates. At the Portales City Council meeting Tuesday at City Hall, Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr. expressed his doubts about House Bill […]

Rep. Lujan introduces backup to Ute bill

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer While Clovis mayor and eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Chairwoman Gayla Brumfield says an omnibus bill authorizing funding for the Ute Water Project will be passed, there’s nothing wrong with having a backup plan. Enter U.S. Rep. Ben Lujan, D-N.M. Thursday, Lujan introduced a string of bills including […]

Ute water measure expected to hit Senate Thursday

Freedom New Mexico Authorization of the Ute Water Project is expected to be on the Senate floor Thursday, according to a release from U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. By a 68-24 vote Wednesday, the Senate approved cloture on Senate Bill 22. Cloture is a procedure to end debate and limit amendments on a measure, contrary […]

Portales opposes water authority bill

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer The Portales City Council voted during an emergency meeting Saturday to oppose a draft version of a state legislative bill that would create a water authority for eastern New Mexico. The vote passed 7-0 with Councilor Shawn Watson absent. The draft was discussed at Thursday’s meeting of the Eastern […]

Ute Water Project reaches delay

Some delays are inevitable for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, such as in Washington, D.C. Some delays it would like to avoid, such as in Santa Fe. Authority members found out an omnibus bill that included authorization for the Ute Water Project will not be introduced in a lame duck session for the […]

Water group proposes ‘authority’ status

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico MELROSE — The recent federal bailout delayed the flow of federal authorization for the Ute Water Project, but supporters are optimistic their chances haven’t dried up. Project Manager Scott Verhines said at Thursday’s meeting that an omnibus bill including the pipeline project and 155 other items is a top […]

Ute Water authority mulls status

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority members revisited a change first considered in 2007 — moving to a true utility authority. Scott Verhines, Ute Water Project Manager, gave a potential timeline and goals sought for such a change at Wednesday’s authority meeting. The authority, tasked with the Ute Water […]

Water Authority cash is tight

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Money has been tight and it’s going to be tighter in the short term for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority. At its monthly meeting Wednesday in Portales the authority voted to rescind acceptance of two grant-loan agreements with New Mexico’s Water Trust Board, totaling $3.52 million. The […]

Rural Water Authority chair says Ute pipeline must be built somehow

By Gabriel Monte, Freedom New Mexico CLOVIS

Study: No gap between military and civilian pay

By Tom Philpott A new Department of Defense study of military compensation finds no pay gap exists today between service members and civilian peers. But the study, conducted over the last two years, advises Defense leaders to adopt a new tool for comparing military and private sector compensation so that service members learn to appreciate […]

Lansford leaves water authority, likely to return

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico With his mayoral term set to expire next week, members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority said goodbye to Chairman David Lansford. That goodbye probably won’t last long. In Lansford’s final meeting of the authority as Clovis mayor, the authority discussed upcoming hearings and acquiring funding for […]

Local lawmakers wary of Richardson health care plan

By Sarah Meyer: Freedom New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson plans to call a special session to deal with health care — his top issue for the legislative session that ended Thursday. “We will pass health care reform,” he said. He did not specify a time for the special session. Local lawmakers, like others around the […]