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Kiddie pool decision postponed

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By Tris DeRoma

Los Alamos County Council decided to postpone consideration of a $500,000 contract to design a kiddie pool for the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

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The council decided Tuesday to delay approval until it knows more about the new management and operations contract that was awarded to the Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 8.

The council decided to delay the project until they county knows one way or the other whether the new lab contractor,

Triad National Security LLC, will file for New Mexico’s gross receipts tax exemption.

County officials say the corporation appears to be organized as a non-profit and it can file with the state to pay gross receipts taxes under New Mexico’s non-profit tax laws.

Los Alamos County receives about $21 million annually from proceeds from the gross receipts tax on some of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s activities.

“I would like feedback from my fellow councilors, but I think we should table this until we have an outcome on the taxable status of the lab,” Councilor Antonio Maggiore said after a presentation on the design contract given by Los

Alamos County Public Works Department officials.

Maggiore said it was “painful” to postpone the decision.

“I think this is the prudent decision, and hopefully we will get an answer soon and this can come back for reconsideration,” Maggiore said.

Councilor Sheehey agreed, saying the project, which county residents have requested for 20 years, should go forward at some point.

“A new generation is here and would want to utilize this to make our aquatic center usable by people of all ages in a practical way,” Sheehey said. “We will sort out the tax status, we will restore a level of revenues that is satisfactory. I’m certainly not going to let this project get pushed down the priority order as we go forward.”

Vice Chair Chris Chandler hoped Triad gives an answer soon so the county and the council can plan.  

“I strongly encourage the laboratory contractor to work with us so we have a prompt answer to this question so that we can move forward expeditiously on this pool project, which is something that probably should’ve happened when the pool was first built 30 years ago,” Chandler said.

Los Alamos County Officials also assured Los Alamos County that the contract, which was for FBT Architects, would not have to be rebid if they postponed the design work.

The council voted 7-0 to postpone considering the contract.