A pickup navigates Three Tanks Road in Socorro County. File photo

The Socorro County Board of County Commissioners approved the second reading of its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2023-2028 at its July 26 meeting.

The plan will be submitted to the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration for consideration during the 2023 session of the New Mexico State Legislature in January.

The ICIP is a plan that establishes planning priorities for anticipated capital projects. The state-coordinated ICIP process encourages entities to plan for the development of capital improvements so that they do not find themselves in emergency situations, but can plan for, fund, and develop infrastructure at a pace that sustains their activities.

Topping the wish list for 2023 is money for repair work on Scholle Bridge in the Abo area of Socorro County, which would cost in the neighborhood of $1.078 million. $100,000 is already earmarked for the work.

The bridge is located off Highway 60 and serves over 40 households in the area.

Three Tanks Road: Three Tanks Road in Alamo is one project that Socorro County commissioners plan to include in the county’s ICIP funding requests. The road, which is part of a school bus route, has been subject to multiple wash outs in recent years. File photo by Cathy Cook.

According to County Manager Michael Hawkes, a complete reconstruction is required. Also for next year, the county is requesting $500,000 for Socorro County Energy Improvements.

Hawkes said the improvements and renovations will save the county enough money to recoup the funds spent to implement them. The plan includes increasing the energy efficiency of the court house which includes “LED lighting, weatherizing and reducing our carbon footprint at the same time, by tons,” Hawkes said. “Metric tons.”

This would also include environmental upgrades for the detention center and, where needed, other county buildings.

The next most urgent project is $500,000 for Alamo concrete flood control culverts on that community’s Three Tanks Road. $500,000 has already been secured for that $1 million project.

Funding for County Road 91 drainage and flood mitigation is fourth on the ICIP. $100,000 is requested. $45,000 has already been approved. The total cost of that project is $1.045 million.

Another priority is improving San Antonio water drainage, needed to moderate the frequent flooding problems for the community during heavy rainfalls. The county is asking for $500,000 to implement Phase 1 of the project; a retention pond east of the San Antonio Fire Station. The total project, which involves two more phases, is estimated to cost $2.032 million.

Looking ahead, $70,000 is needed to begin improvements to Polvadera Heights Road. Further down the list include funding requests for:

  • Detention Center yard facilities
  • Road grader equipment
  • Socorro County Road Dept. wireless network facilities
  • County roof repairs on multiple facilities
  • Socorro County Substance Abuse Treatment Center

Funding, if approved by the 2023 legislature, will come from either state or federal grants. The ICIP establishes planning priorities for anticipated capital projects. In other words, the ICIP is the county’s road map for future capital outlay and CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds, allowing the Commissioners to better prepare for grant opportunities.