Doña Ana County

DAM FOR HATCH PROJECT SHOWCASES MULTI-STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION

DAM FOR HATCH PROJECT SHOWCASES MULTI-STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION

     It is just the type of project that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ staff enjoys working on, said Larry D. Caswell, Jr., Lt. Col., U.S. Army District Commander.  A dam to help prevent flooding in the Village of Hatch had been at the top residents’ priority list and just reached the design phase.
     “We’re going to get it built,” said James “Slim” Whitlock, Trustee for the Village of Hatch and owner of Jim’s Supermarket.  “It has taken a lot of time and work to get to this point and we are excited to see it move forward.”
     The Village of Hatch and Doña Ana County Flood Commission representatives worked together to pinpoint the source of flooding in past years and identify a solution. The solution, a dam, required help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with town, county, state and federal elected officials and government employees to find resources and money that would bring that solution to life.
     “This was really made possible through a collaborative effort,” said Dist. 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Manuel Sanchez.  “Our legislators contributed and was key in making this project a reality for the people of Hatch and our surrounding communities.”
     The estimated $12.7 million needed to build the dam will flow from several sources. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, federal and state legislative appropriations will cover sixty-five percent of the cost while the remaining 35 percent will be covered with state legislative appropriations, grants and other local sources.
     Through legislative appropriations, funding was identified for the dam, in great part through the efforts of U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Representative Xochitl Torres Small, New Mexico State Sen. Jeff Steinborn, State Reps. Rodolpho “Rudy” S. Martinez, and Nathan P. Small.
     “This is one of the most exciting parts of the job,” Caswell said.  The next step on this multi-year project is for the Army Corps of Engineers to design the structure, which will help protect Hatch from floods by creating an embankment dam located upstream from the Hatch and adjacent to Milagro. 
     “We have a really unique opportunity here in our state, right now, where we have leadership at the community level, at the advocate level. We have strong elected leadership,” Small said.  “We are fortunate right now to enjoy strong budgets, as well.  So this is the time, especially with federal partners, to make the most of these opportunities, for the people that we are so privileged to serve.”

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Captions.  Photo 1: From left, John Gwynne, director, Doña Ana County Flood Commission, Dist. 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Manuel Sanchez, State Rep. Nathan Small, Larry D. Caswell, Jr., Lt. Col., U.S. Army District Commander, Doña Ana County Manager Fernando R. Macias, and Village of Hatch Mayor Andrew “Andy” Nunez.
Photo 2: Doña Ana County Manager Fernando R. Macias and Larry D. Caswell, Jr., Lt. Col., U.S. Army District Commander sign agreement.

 

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