By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News 6/30/19
The Las Cruces Capital Improvements Advisory Committee (CIAC) is dedicated to reviewing the City’s infrastructure growth necessary to support our growing community. CIAC members review capital improvements plans, file written comments, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the capital improvements plans, and provide their recommendations for approval to City Council or the Utilities Board of Commissioners.
Specifically, for the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Department and new water and wastewater facility capital improvement projects, the CIAC is involved with the process of reviewing and recommending utility water and wastewater development impact fees for homes and businesses. To understand how to accomplish these tasks, four members of the CIAC toured LCU facilities in June, saw first-hand, asked questions, and learned more about the utility infrastructure.
CIAC Chairman William J. Beerman and members Mark O'Neill, Jason Lorenz, and Eugene W. Suttmiller visited the South Jornada Water Tank and Booster Station, the Jacob Hands Wastewater Treatment Facility, and the East Mesa Wastewater Reclamation Facility with LCU deputy directors and staff members who could answer any question that might come up - from wastewater to billing to how regulations affect utilities.
“We want to give CIAC members a sense of the width and breadth of what Las Cruces Utilities does,” said Dr. Jorge A. Garcia, LCU director.
“What we’ve seen has been very sophisticated; they really know their stuff,” noted CIAC member Mark O’Neill. “People just don’t realize all of what Las Cruces Utilities does.”
As the members walked over the different reservoirs of wastewater being processed at the East Mesa Water Reclamation Facility, they were also able to see the adjacent solar panels that offset approximately half of the facility’s total electrical requirements.
The CIAC was established as required by the Development Fees Act; there are five members. Two of the five must be representatives of the real estate, development, or building industries, including businesses that finance, underwrite or lend money for real estate, development, or building purposes. No member of the CIAC is a City employee or official of the City, County, or other governmental entity.
Citizens who are interested in learning more about the CIAC are welcome to attend meetings held every third Thursday of every month at 1:30 p.m. at the LCU administrative offices, 680 N. Motel Boulevard. More information at http://nm-lascruces.civicplus.com/1235/Boards.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: CIAC Chair William Beerman and members Mark O’Neill, Jason Lorenz, and Eugene Suttmiller examine the wastewater processing pools at the East Mesa Water Reclamation Facility. The members toured some of the LCU facilities to get a better sense of the infrastructure that capital funds help to support.