County gets 9-acre gift from NNSA

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Use for land not determined yet

By Garrison Wells

Los Alamos County just got a gift.

The county received a 9-acre tract of land from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos site Office. The land was the organization’s former home office.

It is unclear yet what the county might decide to use the land for, said Julie Habiger, spokeswoman for the county.

“We don’t have any plans yet,” she said. “It could be for economic development. It could be affordable housing. There are no plans for the land just yet. We are just very pleased to have the land in our possession.”

The almost 9-acre parcel at Trinity and 35th Street served first as a police barracks in the late 1940s, according to a press release. It then served as the office building for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and its successors, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy and now, the NNSA. In 2008, the 100-plus members of the onsite federal staff moved to a new building on West Jemez Road.

“Many important decisions were debated and made in that building over time,” said LASO Site Manager Don Winchell. “Though tearing it down was bittersweet, I’m pleased to be the Site Manager charged with transferring the site to the county.”

The DOE has transferred several parcels since 2002. LASO has transferred 14 tracts — approximately 219 acres — of land to the county since 2002.

The transfer “is an

important ‘next step’ in providing land within Los Alamos County that can be redeveloped and repurposed for other uses such as economic development or affordable housing,” said Los Alamos County Council Chairman Mike Wismer.

Building demolition began in November 2009 and completed in May 2010. Prior to the building demolition, LASO tore down the former steam plant on the same property.