Rio Rancho Moves to Corrales
Perverse Motions

Nobody's Stormwater

Diagram_fingerpointing_550px_1 Circular finger-pointing is what Councilor Ike Benton calls the City's response to the flooding in Martineztown Sunday night.  Dan McKay covers it in the Journal and these waterlogged bits say it all:

The Water Utility Authority is a joint agency of the city and county governments.  Under the complicated arrangement, the city handles major repairs and construction; the water authority handles operations and some maintenance.    The authority was created by legislation in 2003 that was signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson over city objections. (sic) The law removed the water utility from city control and put it in the hands of the joint agency....Further complicating the situation, the water authority has few employees of its own. It pays the city to run the utility. ...

... Only two of the seven storm-water pumps at the Broadway station were running Sunday night when heavy rain started to hit the city's Martineztown neighborhood.  Two of the pumps were broken and three had been shut down about a week ago as the city completed repair work elsewhere.  However, John Castillo, the city's director of municipal development, said the city notified the Water Utility Authority on Friday that it could turn the pumps back on.

The left hand told the right hand to flip the switch but the right hand was busy eating pasta and not watching the Weather Channel.   

Further obsfucation of responsibility is partly why the Authority exists.  Creation of the Authority was intended to facilitate the massive capital investment necessary for the unfettered growth of the sprawling Westside - which a lot of people, including westsiders, said they didn't want.  The power and capital had to be removed from the threat of growth management efforts behind the Planned Growth Stategy.  Removal of the Authority from either direct municipal or county control effectively truncated the threat and established more and separate bonding capacity for overall system expansion.      

I know, I know.  You think I hear black helicopters everywhere. 

One of the strongest reasons behind having growth management is to plan public infrastructure investment to assure adequate funding for replacement and repair of things like aging infrastructure that serves existing neighborhoods - like the storm drainage pumps near Martineztown.      


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