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

Officials pleased with interest at water meeting

 

July 26, 2018



CLOVIS — City officials said they were pleased with the attendance and interest among landowners at Tuesday’s meeting held to provide information about the water banking portion of the Clovis Master Water Assurance Plan.

“Honestly I was thrilled with the turnout for the meeting and the level of interest that was expressed throughout,” City Commissioner Ladona Clayton told The News on Wednesday.

Clayton estimated close to 40 landowners were in attendance for the meeting, which featured presentations by Peter Nichols of the Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti, LLP and Ariel Steele from Tax Credit Connection.

“(The landowners) asked a lot of really good questions, which for me indicates a sincere interest in the topic and that perhaps we have brought people to the table that they needed to assist them; that was my first sense last night,” Clayton said.

Mayor David Lansford said he too was pleased with the response from landowners.

“I was able to visit with five to 10 people after the meeting and it’s my impression that the folks who attended were very interested in the presentation and hopefully they will continue to ask questions and ultimately decide to be a participant (in the city’s pilot project),” Lansford said.

The pilot project is one of two next steps for the city’s water banking plan, along with the release of a Request for Qualifications, which Clayton said is expected to go before the Clovis city commission for approval by Aug. 16.

Clayton said the pilot project process will entail completing the application for a conservation easement, identifying available tax credits and then sending the application to the state for approval.

Lansford said the pilot project will provide the city with a clearer picture of whether or not water banking will be advantageous for the city or landowners.

Clayton said three individuals volunteered on Tuesday to take part in the pilot project and she expects to meet with those people again soon to begin that process.

“Actually initiating the application process will certainly be a big moment,” Lansford said.

The pilot project does not include any commitment to go through with the easement, Lansford and Clayton said.

Unsurprisingly the biggest roadblock the city faces as it attempts to secure a reliable water supply for years to come is funding.

“... (W)e’re looking at every available means to fund these conservation measures without creating a heavy burden on our citizens,” Lansford said.

 
 

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