Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


The project continues


Debbie Israel

Aztec resident and ex- Aztec City Commissioner Jack Scott on the property near the bus barn last week. Jack was among the city residents expressing concerns about the project to TALON

As the city's sewer project moves along, some people have voiced concerns to TALON. We took that list of issues to the City Manager and got his answers to the problems.

Items on that list included the construction company working within the easements, a "grey water" line that is being added into the same trench as the sewer line, and the possibility of a road being built along the right-of-way. Jack Scott, one of the property owners along the route, was also concerned about heirloom trees located on his property that are not replaceable, as well as a hand dug well. He also said his easement allowed construction to enter his property from the east, not from the west, which is the direction the project is actually working from. Scott pointed out that the original easements for this project were negotiated back in 2012. He said the easements dated back to previous city employees, and that "they were good for the city, but horrible for the land owners."

Everyone agrees that there are two different easements with this project. One is temporary for construction, and is 40' wide, and the second is much smaller, ten feet on each side of the original sewer line, and will be where the line is when the construction is all finished.

In answer to the easement issues, after receiving complaints that the contractors were not working in the correct space, or were possibly moving the survey markers, City Manager Josh Ray said, "We had the surveyors come back and make sure no markers had been moved. We dealt with the issue, and paid some extra charges for interrupting progress." He is confident the contractors are working within the correct easement area, and added that when the project is completed, the sewer line will be inside the permanent easement, and the route will be returned back to its natural state.

In regards to the other easement problem, Mr. Ray, without mentioning any names, said the city had re-negotiated with one property owner, added an addendum, and that construction was continuing.

Debbie Israel

The work continues on the city's sewer line

Mr. Ray said that a water line is indeed being put in the trench. The line is a "re-use" line that will carry treated water from the wastewater plant that would otherwise go back to the river. He said the water will be used to irrigate Riverside Park and Florence Park, and possibly others in the future. "There are no health risks," he said about using the water, adding that the water is cleaner than our drinking water because in order to put it back into the river, there are stringent procedures that must be followed. There are several communities in our state that use this system to irrigate parks and golf courses.

In response to a question of there being a roadway along the easement for the sewer line, Mr. Ray said there never has been a plan for a road there. He said the schools, at one point years ago, were looking for another way for the buses to travel, but the area wasn't conducive to building a road, and that idea was abandoned. He assured us that no road was planned for that area.

According to Mr. Ray, in the end, "We will have an updated sewer line that impacts the entire city." He added that the new sewer line has been needed for many years, and will last for many years to come. And using the treated water will save money by lowering the cost of maintaining the parks.


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