By Kevin Wilson

Officials authorize grant application


Last updated 4/24/2021 at 2:59pm

CLOVIS — The Clovis city commission had what will likely be its shortest meeting of 2021, with six commissioners quickly authorizing city administration to apply for a federal water grant Friday morning.

In a matter of seven minutes, the commission gave the go-ahead to apply for up to $3.2 million from the Bureau of Reclamation. The WaterSMART grant program is designated for water reclamation and reuse projects, which City Manager Justin Howalt explained was tailor-made for the city’s ongoing effluent reuse project.

The effluent pipeline takes wastewater, which is treated to a standard below potability, and delivers it to various municipal departments and area schools for watering fields and various municipal uses. The project could save the city up to 4 million gallons of fresh water per day at peak use.

Before throwing the discussion over to Howalt, Mayor Mike Morris thanked city staff for looking for the funding opportunity and requesting the special meeting to submit the application. Howalt said the BOR made the city aware of the program April 12, too late to process the application in time for the April 15 commission meeting. The program had an application deadline of Friday, and the commission’s next regular meeting is May 6.

The project is currently in Phase 2A, which is comprised of end-point retention ponds at Colonial Park Golf Course. Howalt said Phase 2B will take the pipeline from 21st and Thornton up to Wilhite, then to the back area of the golf course to connect to the course’s irrigation system and ponds.

Although the project is nearing its end point, Howalt said the BOR program was no less desirable because the project’s prior phases are eligible for reimbursement.

Morris opened the floor to the commission after noting he had no idea why the commission wouldn’t approve it. Commissioner Juan Garza echoed those sentiments.

“I think it’s a really good thing,” Garza said, “and I’ll move for approval.”

The other commissioners attending — Mayor Pro Tem Chris Bryant, Gary Elliott, Leo Lovett, Fidel Madrid and Lauren Rowley — joined him in the 6-0 vote, and Morris adjourned.


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