Dona Ana county celebrates three wastewater projects

Aug. 12, 2002
Dona Ana County, NM, has started three wastewater projects that will provide first time wastewater collection and treatment services to several communities in the south central region of the county.

Las Cruces, NM -- Dona Ana County commemorated the initiation of three wastewater projects that will provide first time wastewater collection and treatment services to six communities in the south central region of the county, as well as to La Union, Salem, and Ogaz.

Officials of the North American Development Bank (NADB), U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and Congressman Joe Skeen were present for the ceremony, as were several county and city officials. U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, also a strong supporter of the project, was unable to attend.

The total estimated cost of the county's three wastewater projects is $39.09 million, including proposed future expansions. NADB is contributing grant assistance totaling $17.8 million, made available through the bank's EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF).

Other funding sources for the projects include Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds administered by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, grant and loan funds administered by the NMED, as well as grant funds from the BECC.

South Central Regional Wastewater Facilities: The first phase of this regional project includes the construction of individual sewer systems and 2,200 residential hook-ups in the communities of Vado, Del Cerro, La Mesa, San Miguel, Berino, and Chamberino, as well as construction of a one million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant to serve all six communities.

Salem and Ogaz: Similar to the South Central project, the communities of Salem and Ogaz will benefit from the construction of a new collection system that includes a pump station and about 6,400 meters of pipeline. In addition, assistance will be provided to connect 278 households to the new sewer system.

La Union: This two-phase project consists of the design and construction of a wastewater collection system in La Union and a conveyance system to transport the wastewater to the West Mesa/Santa Teresa Border Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. In addition, community residents will also benefit from hook-up assistance to connect to the new system.

Dona Ana County ceremony

"These three New Mexico projects, which will collectively benefit nearly 11,000 residents in nine communities in Dona Ana County, represent our dedication to financing environmental infrastructure projects that promote a clean, healthy environment for citizens in the border region," said Jorge C. Garces, the NADB's deputy managing director. "We are pleased that the NADB can offer financial assistance through our BEIF program in order to move such projects forward."

Established in 1997, the BEIF is a grant program administered by the NADB to fund and facilitate environmental infrastructure projects throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region. EPA provided an initial contribution of $170 million for water and wastewater projects with an additional $166 million added to the fund by EPA in the past three years.

More than $356 million in BEIF assistance has been approved to date. The North American Development Bank, created under the auspices of NAFTA, is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border.

As a pioneer institution in its field, the bank is working to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

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