The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Water authority budget approved

$3,115,914 projected for 2019 fiscal year, down from this year.


May 25, 2018

CLOVIS — The Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority unanimously approved the preliminary operating budget for fiscal year 2019 during Thursday’s meeting.

ENMWUA administrator Orlando Ortega said total expenditures for fiscal year 2019 are projected to be $3,115,914, down from $3,242,092 in fiscal year 2018.

ENMWUA Chairman David Lansford previously said in Thursday’s edition of The News that the budget for fiscal year 2018 was $1.34 million, but that figure did not include capital outlay.

After the meeting Ortega and ENMWUA Chairman David Lansford said the most significant cuts came from employee salaries and other operations costs. Ortega’s salary is $21,000 less than what previous executive director Justin Howalt was paid, and Ortega does not require a benefits package, unlike Howalt.

Officials previously said the new administrator’s salary would be based on qualifications.

Lansford said the final budget will come before the board in July. The preliminary budget was the only action item on the agenda.

Wesley Shafer was not in attendance.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

• No action was taken following an approximately 30-minute executive session held to discuss limited personnel matters.

• Consultant John Ryan said the “omnibus” appropriation bill recently signed by President Trump included an additional $4 million for the ENMWUA, bringing the total funds received from the federal Bureau of Reclamation to $5.87 million for fiscal year 2018.

“That’s better than we’ve done before but it’s not nearly what we asked for,” Ryan said. “We asked for the completion of Finished Water 2 from Cannon Air Force Base to Clovis and that additional money was close to $11 million. Disappointing; however, $4 million is better than zero.”

• Project manager Jim Honea said the board is anticipated to take action on the awarding of the Request for Proposal for Finished Water 2 in July and all but one of the appraisals for Finished Water 3 have been completed.

• In his update on state activities, consultant Joe Thompson said there’s not much going on in the state until after the primary election in June and encouraged the board to begin networking and developing relationships with the gubernatorial candidates and candidates to replace Rep. Dennis Roch following the primary.


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