STATEMENT REGARDING SUNLAND PARK PROPOSAL

STATEMENT REGARDING SUNLAND PARK PROPOSAL

D. Kent Evans, Chairman
Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners
Commissioner, District 4
August 21, 2002

The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners, acting in good faith and with the health, safety and welfare of its Santa Teresa constituents in mind, has extended to the Sunland Park City Council a proposal by which the county would temporarily divert industrial wastewater discharge into the county’s state-of-the-art facility. The proposal gives the city a level of relief sufficient to make substantial and necessary improvements to the two systems it currently operates, thereby immediately reducing the serious odor problem, minimizing public health risks and maximizing immediate economic development opportunities for the region. The county’s proposal also has the potential to realize significantly more reasonable wastewater treatment rates for all of the city’s customers by alleviating pressure on the system.

At its meeting of Aug. 20, the Sunland Park City Council apparently discussed the proposal in a closed session and then publicly refused to accept the county’s proposal. The Board of County Commissioners remains resolute in its commitment to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of the residents of southern Doña Ana County, and the Commission will continue to seek meaningful dialogue and identify concrete steps that can be taken to adequately address the wastewater and economic development issues of the region in a timely and constructive manner.

As Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, I am disappointed that the Mayor of Sunland Park has once again put the well being of his own constituents on the back burner in an obvious attempt to politicize a serious ongoing public health issue. I assure my constituents and all the residents of Doña Ana County that this Commission is actively looking at ways to mitigate this unfortunate impasse.