SUN-NEWS HEADLINE AND STORY ON ‘SANTA TERESA WATER ISSUE’ FACTUALLY WRONG

SUN-NEWS HEADLINE AND STORY ON ‘SANTA TERESA WATER ISSUE’ FACTUALLY WRONG

A front-page headline and story in the Feb. 4, 2000 edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News contain substantial misinformation.
The Joint Resolution that passed the New Mexico State Senate on Feb. 3, 2000, will never go before the voters of the State of New Mexico, nor will it require the governor’s signature upon passage by the Legislature.
Further, the Joint Resolution pertains only to the water and wastewater utility at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Santa Teresa Services Company, the City of Sunland Park or any litigation between those parties and Doña Ana County regarding utility services.
THE FACTS
To support the federal government’s initiative to build a port of entry at Santa Teresa, the State of New Mexico donated land for the port of entry and obligated itself to provide infrastructure in the form of roads and utilities, including water and wastewater. The state spent $1.3 million on the water and wastewater portion of the infrastructure and then, in 1997, entered into a lease agreement with Doña Ana County to operate and manage the system.
The lease agreement acknowledged that Doña Ana County was in the design phase of a regional water and wastewater system to serve the development that the port of entry would bring to the area, and the lease provided that when Doña Ana County began construction of its water and wastewater system, then the utility system at the port of entry would be transferred by the state’s Property Control Division to the county, upon routine approval by the Legislature.
Doña Ana County has begun construction on its regional water and wastewater system, with service set to begin in April to both private and public customers.