Edgewood considers blasting ordinance

Edgewood’s town council deferred action on a blasting ordinance that would define what is allowable within town limits.

The town also held the first of two town hall meetings this week on its proposed acquisition of Epcor’s Edgewood water system. The second of the two meetings will be July 7 in the new town offices in the Edgewood Elementary School complex at Dinkle and N.M. 344 at 1-:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Epcor held its own informational meeting July 2, where nearly 100 people showed up, almost unanimously voicing displeasure with the town’s plan.

The blasting ordinance would define parameters for blasting within town, which officials say is now totally unregulated. Still, some who spoke urged caution the way the ordinance is worded.

Leon Ricter, who owns Windmill Water, very close to a gravel quarry and recently added to the town limits through the infill annexation, said among other things that he is concerned that pre- and post-blast reports for nearby homes would make the contents of those homes a public document in possession of the town’s planning and zoning department.

Councilor Audrey Jaramillo asked that “hold harmless” language be added to protect the town legally.

Councilor Sherry Abraham made a motion that action be put off until those questions can be answered, which passed with John Abrams as the only dissenting vote. No timeline on when the matter would be taken up again was added to the motion.

In other business, the town recognized the service of police officer Jason Hunter, who recently retired from the Edgewood Police Department, after 20 years in law enforcement, and 4 years with EPD.

Mayor John Bassett also recognized Hunter’s wife and children, who were in attendance, for their contribution to his career.

The council voted to hire a new police officer.

While the town council meeting was recorded and posted on its website, a “workshop” following the meeting for public input on Edgewood’s proposed acquisition of Epcor was not.

At the meeting Epcor held, the company repeated its assertions that such a takeover would be costly to the town, as Epcor does not want to sell the water system and says it will fight the move legally.

Amid concerns about the takeover, some at that meeting spoke about rumors and said Edgewood has violated the Open Meetings Act in its consideration of the topic so far.

The Open Meetings Act specifically allows for closed meetings in dealing with acquisition of property.

Some concerns brought up by the public included the hardness of the water supply and ways that could be mitigated; Epcor said they will survey customers to see if the households who respond think the extra cost for a water treatment plant to be built is worth it.

For information on the town hall meeting July 7, contact the town of Edgewood at 505-286-4518.