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Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne came to the Los Alamos County Council meeting Monday with a request to spend $1 million over two years on design work for the White Rock Economic Development plan, and left with a directive to find $20 million to fund construction as soon as possible.
Councilor Ken Milder said that if only design work were funded, it would signal that the county was not serious and might not get many bids.
Dennis Erickson of the White Rock Economic Development Steering Committee initially requested $3.5-$4.5 million from council to start the project with infrastructure improvements on N.M. 4, Sherwood Boulevard and gateway arches.
Councilor Fran Berting proposed the motion for a long-term allocation of $20 million over 10 years.
“We need to indicate that we seriously intend to go beyond conceptual design, that this is definitely going to proceed,” she said. “We would be seriously remiss if we did not indicate to White Rock that we intend to do it, and follow through.”
“I don’t think pulling numbers out of the air is going to help us,” said Councilor Mike Wheeler.
“We have a new process, I think we should follow that process,” said Councilor Nona Bowman. “I like having the design and a cost estimate we can rely on.”
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