HATCH, N.M. – The leadership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque District and representatives of the Dona Ana County celebrated the completion of the feasibility phase of the Hatch Section 205 Flood Risk Management Project at a landmark ceremony at the Hatch Community Centre here on December 10. “This project is the final step in a major flood management system and will work in conjunction with two other flood protection functions: the Placitas Arroyo Project and the International Water and Water Improvement Project,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Dale Caswell, Albuquerque District Commander. Participants also signed the Project Partnership Agreement, which launched the next phase of the project, which includes the design and construction of the dam. The purpose of the cost-sharing agreement is to define financing conditions, construction and operating conditions, maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation of the project. “As part of the county`s share of costs, we`re going to do some of the preparatory work for the dam,” said John Gwynne, director of the Dona Ana County Flood Commission. The proposed project involves the construction of a 4,000-foot dam off Hatch. The whole village of Hatch is located in 100 years of flooding. The total project cost is currently estimated at $12,735,000. “We plan to start the design phase next spring,” Caswell said. “I am very excited to see all these great partners come together and work hard to create tangible improvements for this beautiful place.” It is a blue ribbon achievement that underscores the 100% commitment to building the nation, protecting the region from flooding and serving our community,” he said.
Among those present was Nathan Small, the state representative; John Gwynne, Director, Dona Ana County Flood Commission, District 36; Fernando Macias, District Chief; Manuel Sanchez, District Commissioner, District 5; Andrew Nunez, Mayor, Village of Hatch; Lieutenant-Colonel Dale Caswell, Commanding Officer, USACE, Albuquerque District; John Drake, Assistant Project Manager, USACE; Mark Doles, Buildings; Felton Prosper, Project Manager; Representatives of the Elephant Butte community and local actors from Hatch Village. This AAE is the first AAE to contain several modernized provisions of the treaty after a comprehensive review and update of the language of the partnership by USACE. The PPP was quickly negotiated and approved as part of a team effort betweenCCA staff and the USACE Galveston District, the USACE Southwest Division and USACE Headquarters. The total project is expected to cost $327 million, with usACE`s proportionate share of costs estimated at $225 million and PCCA`s proportionate share at $102 million. The AAE allows the PCCA to accelerate its share of project cost participation, allowing it to begin construction before federal funding up to $102 million. These funds are intended for the planning and construction of the deepening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island east of Port Aransas Ferry Landing. Project Partnership Agreements (AAEs) are legally binding agreements between the Ministry of the Army and non-federal sponsors, which define the conditions for cost-sharing and construction of a project or a separable component of a project.