County funds flood prevention project

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For Bosquecito Road, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Socorro County’s Board of Commissioners has approved a funding plan for the installation of three low water crossings and the repair and replacement of Bosquecito Road. The road has been severely damaged by flooding in the past.

“This is our best opportunity to get this done,” said Chairman Danny Monette. “I think we need to move forward on this.”

This project will cost a total of $1,930,236.39, of which Socorro County will pay 55 percent, or $1,061,690. The first 15 percent, $289,595, will be paid as “FEMA flood funds, labor, equipment and cash,” according to the resolution, and the remainder, $772,095, will be paid back over 20 years with no interest. The loan payments will total $38,605 per year and will be paid from the county’s motor vehicle tax.

This resolution was passed at the regular meeting, which occurred at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14. This comes after a grant approval from the state’s Water Trust Board on April 25, 2012, after a 150-page application which County Manager Delilah Walsh described in May as a “Hail Mary pass” with a slim chance of approval.

“The reason it’s so important is that’s the only access road for a lot of people, school buses and emergency vehicles,” Walsh said in an El Defensor Chieftain article from June 6. “If anything happens to that road, people can’t go to work and kids can’t go to school.”

When heavy rains hit east of Bosquecito Road, it’s a petty obstacle on the way to the Rio Grande. According to a Chieftain report from July of 2010, the five-foot-deep arroyo crossing Bosquecito played host to a stream that reached 40 yards wide.