County updates Council on CIP projects, art

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By Tris DeRoma


Los Alamos County officials told county council Friday they made major headway in two important areas: capital improvement projects and public art.

Anne Laurent, Community and Economic Development Director and Philo Shelton, Public Works Director made the capital improvement projects presentation, updating the council on key projects that included the replacement of concrete and asphalt  on 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th Streets in Western Area north of Trinity and 43rd Street south of Trinity; the Canada Del Buey Trail extension in White Rock; pavement and concrete repair on Canyon Road to 15th Street; improvements to Ashley Pond; compost site at Bayo Canyon and improvements to N.M. 4. 

The most expensive of these projects were the improvements to N.M. 4, the least expensive was the compost project at Bayo Canyon.

The Bayo Canyon project cost taxpayers $800,000, N.M. 4, meanwhile, was $7.2 million.

During the presentation, Shelton added that with all of the projects, the county was able to save anywhere from $34,000 (Ashley Pond Improvements) to $640,000 for the N.M. 4 improvements. 

Councilor Pete Sheehey attributed the savings to the hard lessons that learned working on previous projects. 

“In general, I’m very favorably impressed with bringing these projects in or on budget,” Sheehey said.  “We went through a tough reassessment on the White Rock Visitor Center when there were some unanticipated costs and the lesson we learned and that I hope you learned is that it’s better to anticipate up front that if there are contingencies, to go ahead and include that in the cost. If we have to eat up that contingency fund that’s part of the deal, and if we don’t run into problems we can turn the money back and use it for other things… but to over run the budget that’s unfortunate.” 

Also at the council meeting it was revealed by presenter Carolyn Bossert, chairman of the Art in Public Spaces Board, that a very familiar piece of art that used to hang in the old County Council Chambers will be returning. 

“Valle Grande and Jemez River,” by Sam Tubiolo will be making its homecoming soon, along with two additional extensions of the mural from the artist. It was also announced that another painting, “Forgiveness,” by Sec Sandoval will be purchased as well for the County Municipal Building. It will be used to complement another Sandoval painting the county has in it’s collection, “Good Success” which is painted by the same artist. 

The moving and installation of the artwork is expected to cost around $45,000.

County Council Member Kristin Henderson congratulated Bossert and the APS Board for shepherding the project to its completion.

“I think this committee is doing such a great job, and is really working to beautify the community inside the building as well as outside,” she said. As for the Tubiolo mural, Henderson added she’s sure residents who used to see it on display will be glad to see it’s reappearance.  

 …”They (the committee) really made a great choice and it’s really nice that this piece will be coming bauck to council chambers,” she said.