Ute Water Project loan collateral sought

Gabriel Monte

Ute Water Project Manager Scott Verhines said the region’s water authority will discuss establishing a revenue stream in its next meeting to relieve the city of Clovis of the burden to provide collateral for any loan it receives on behalf of the Ute Water Project.

As the financial agent of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, the city handles any funds the water authority receives for the project, which includes securing loans.

The revenue stream plan Verhines will present to the water authority will be in the form of a 19-cent-per-thousand-gallon increment from each member of the authority. Each entity will decide how to establish that increment if approved.

“It would be a self-imposed increment on top of everybody’s water bill,” Verhines said Thursday while giving the Clovis City Commission an update.

The City Commission approved two grants totaling about $3.55 million from the state’s Water Trust Board for the project during Thursday’s meeting. Both grants have loan components, which the city will have to secure with wastewater revenues. The money will be used for planning, designing and engineering the project, which would create a pipeline from Ute lake to pump drinking water to eight eastern New Mexico entities at an estimated cost of