Board approves funds to keep water flowing in Lincoln County |

Board approves funds to keep water flowing in Lincoln County

The Board of Examiners on Thursday approved $1.5 million to the city of Caliente and Lincoln County to reimburse them for costs of repairing damage caused by severe flooding in January 2005.

Caliente Mayor Kevin Phillips said the most critical part of the repair work is drilling a new well to supply the city with water.

He said the city had to conduct a hydro-geologic study to determine the best place to drill and make sure arsenic levels would meet federal drinking water standards. A site has been selected and Phillips said the environmental work is being completed.

“We have one well in production and we pump during low periods from the Caliente Youth Center well,” Phillips told the board, consisting of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general.

He said the city already rations water and if the current well goes dry, the city would be in “critical condition.”

“Our parks are brown, not green,” he told the board.

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The total cost of the well will be about $2 million. The federal government, which declared the floods a disaster when they occurred, will cover about 75 percent of the cost. The state is paying for the rest because Caliente doesn’t have the financial base to afford it.

With the new fiscal year just two weeks away, the board also approved 232 contracts with vendors and service providers in nearly every state agency.

They approved about $2.3 million needed to finish providing salary increases to state workers this fiscal year. The 2 percent and 4 percent raises granted by the 2007 Legislature will be funded after agencies pay as much as they can from salary savings within their existing budgets, enabling the state budget office to determine exactly how much is needed.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.