Council OKs CIP funding wish list

The Los Alamos County Council had a light agenda on Tuesday. Approval of the county’s top priorities for capital improvements and infrastructure projects that could be eligible for state funding topped the list.
County Administrator Harry Burgess explained why the list included 89 projects scheduled for the next five fiscal years, even though the New Mexico state legislature typically considers funding for no more than five CIP projects per county.
“It’s become more of a requirement that for any state funds to be granted, a project must be on our CIP,” Burgess said. “So we do our best to be very exhaustive in listing those various projects out into the future.”
This year’s top five projects are the same as last year’s, but the order has been changed.
Last year’s top priority, Jemez Mountains Regional Fire Protection Phase 2, is now number five. The project calls for expanding fire protections on Pajarito Mountain with a focus on water supply. Phase one funds helped rebuild the Los Alamos Reservoir and construct a holding pond on the mountain.
That project remains a priority, but staff does not see funding in next year’s cycle as critical, since the county has not yet received $375,000 allocated by the 2013 legislature.