Water and sewer projects remained high on a list of projects in the City of Carlsbad’s five-year spending plan crafted as anticipated demands for infrastructure increased in the growing city.
The public comment period opened June 6 for the City’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP). Input from the public, City of Carlsbad staff and city leadership were sought for 53 municipal projects and six senior citizen projects from 2024 through 2028, read City of Carlsbad ICIP documents.
The projected cost for the projects was $174 million, and replacing waterlines for the City of Carlsbad’s Double Eagle Water System was No. 1 on the ICIP.
“The lines to be replaced serve as gathering lines and transmission lines from the two well fields. The project is being phased,” read a description from the ICIP.
The City estimated $3.6 million of the nearly $10 million was funded so far. The City sought an extra $6 million from 2024 through 2026 for work on the water system located 30 miles northeast of Carlsbad.
Construction of a second well for the City’s primary sewer lift station was third on the ICIP. Money has not been set aside for this project, but the City sought $500,000 for the project for 2024 and $2 million for 2025, read the proposed ICIP.
Improvements for the sewer system on Rose Street were No. 4 on the ICIP. The planning document noted $63,000 was set aside so far and $460,000 would be sought for 2024.
Extending sewer pipes at the east end of Rose Street to discharge sewage into the manhole at the intersection of Rose Street and Old Cavern Highway were proposed for the project, according to the ICIP.
City of Carlsbad Municipal Services Director Angie Barrios-Testa said utility related projects normally rank near, or at the top, of every ICIP.
“Because they promote, maintain healthy and safety to the community by providing safe and reliable, drinking water, sewer and sanitary services,” she said.
Planning, designing and construction of a new bridge and bikeway at Boyd Drive and Radio Boulevard crossing Dark Canyon ranked second on the ICIP.
Barrios-Testa said the bridge was important to focus on. In 2021 the current low-water crossing was washed away by flash flooding in Dark Canyon arroyo which also led to the death of at least one person.
“Having a new bridge will ensure safety and north-south transportation access during annual flood events for emergency vehicles and residents to and from the Carlsbad Medical Center, dialysis clinic, schools, places of employment, and other critical community assets on either side of the Dark Canyon regional drainage,” she said.
The City sought $22 million in 2024 for the bridge and bikeway. The City of Carlsbad had $273,000 dollars in hand for the project, the ICIP stated.
A mobile public safety commander center was fifth on the list, read the ICIP.
The City estimated $575,000 was needed in 2024 to acquire, equip, furnish, and install a public safety command center for regional government agencies based in Carlsbad, per the ICIP.
“The ICIP is a planning tool for the City to establish infrastructure project priorities,” Barrios-Testa said.
“It is a five-year plan that is updated annually. Having a well-planned priority list helps local governments like the City of Carlsbad in order to properly plan for future needs as well as mitigate any emergency situations if possible,” she said.
Barrios-Testa said comments were not limited to those associated with City government as public input and suggestions were welcomed.
“The ICIP is not a funding source in itself but it is an important component required for some state funding programs. Although federal agencies do not require that projects be on the ICIP list, the planning and development that goes into the preparation of developing the ICIP helps when the City puts together federal grant applications,” she said.
Comments can be submitted through July.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the City would consider public feedback and develop a final ICIP for consideration in August.
Barrios-Testa said counties and municipalities have until Aug. 19 to turn in ICIP’s to the State of New Mexico and senior citizen facility ICIPs were due Sept. 9.