Estancia Valley aquifer dropping a foot a year, says Entranosa

The Tijeras Village Council meeting Tuesday evening featured Jack Crider of Entranosa Water giving an in-depth presentation on the current status and projects of the water cooperative. 

Crider explained many improvements and projects in detail, and said that the Estancia Basin aquifer is dropping by about one foot per year, and that 94 percent of water usage is farm irrigation.

Entranosa is acquiring new wells where they can. Crider said the average member water usage is 6,250 gallons a month, as opposed to the national average of 6,700 gallons a month.

He said the golf course at PaaKo used 154 million gallons in 2018, and new piping is being installed now along Frost Road; this project is expected to be finished next month.

In other business, the village is accepting applications for the position of Finance Director, and the first interviews will begin next week, according to Mayor Gloria Chavez.

The council voted to postpone hiring K12 Accounting for bookkeeping support, opting to hold a special meeting in the very near future to discuss the issue. An audit of the town’s finances is due to be finished by Dec. 15.

The council unanimously approved MRCOG as fiscal agent for acquiring a Brush Fire Truck, and the JCH remote monitoring program. 

Councilor Jake Bruton moved to postpone appointing Frank Coppler as village of Tijeras attorney until the council has the opportunity to review the two other attorneys who answered the request for proposals.

Bruton said citizens are concerned about the width of Celina Lane, saying that it is now impossible for two vehicles to pass each other on the switchbacks since the state Department of Transportation repaved it. He said the village was awarded $250,000 by the Legislature for transportation issues, and some of that money could be spent improving the safety of that road.

Another concern brought up was that citizens have reported seeing the village’s water operator, who is on call for emergencies 24/7, purchasing liquor while using the village truck. Chavez agreed to contact the water operator about this.