Edgewood has plans to begin bringing its wastewater collection system to the residents of the town.

Sewer mains have been put in along Church Road from N.M. 344 to the lift station just west of Williams Ranch Road and along Main Street and Cactus Street east of the Dairy Queen. 

“The Construction Programs Bureau … advised us to make the [wastewater] plant work better … and that needed more residential strength [wastewater] to dilute the commercial [wastewater],” Mayor John Bassett explained, adding, “Dilution is the solution.”

Bassett gave a ballpark figure for the design work and construction to this point at around $570,000. The design work was done by Smith Engineering, he said. “New Mexico Underground, a company out of Albuquerque is doing the actual construction,” he said.

“For the design work, we put out a Request for Proposals,” Bassett explained. “We got those back and set up a committee to rate and rank them. You select a winner … and negotiate a contract. That’s exactly what we did.”

Bassett continued, “Smith did the design work and then we put out an invitation for bids. We got back eight responding contractors. We had a bid opening here in the council chambers, and New Mexico Underground was the low bidder, so we put ‘em to work.”

Bassett explained that they were following the town’s new procurement policy that was put together by town clerk-treasurer Juan Torres shortly after Bassett became mayor. “This council here did vote back in June to proceed on Church and Cactus, Main,” he said.

When asked where the money comes from, Bassett explained, “We made requests for money [from the state] since the [wastewater] plant opened. 2016 was the only year they didn’t give us any. They give you the outlays.”

The Construction Program Bureau approves the design plans and oversees the construction, Bassett said. “They’re copied in on everything that happens and approve stuff along the way as construction proceeds,” he said.

Smith Engineering obtained the easements required for the collection mains to run through private property, Bassett said. 

“The whole idea to put that collection system in was, as time and money permits, to try to expand into it,” Bassett said. “With the Notice of Violation that we got back in September,” he continued, “that will have a dampening effect,” on the expansion project.

Bassett said he expects that the design work will be completed, but that “going forward with any spending, we’re going to address the issues raised in the Notice of Violation, as well as stuff the Construction Bureau wants us to fix inside to make it work better.”

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.