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.
Photo by Ronna Schelby Fernando Macias (center), county manager, Dona Ana, and Lt. Col. Dale Caswell, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District sign Section 205 Small Flood Risk Management Cost Sharing Agreement at a signing ceremony at the Hatch Community Center, Hatch, New Mexico, December 10, 2019. The purpose of the cost-sharing agreement is to define financing conditions, construction and operating conditions, maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation of the project. The USACE-Albuquerque District expects the design phase of this project to begin next spring. see less In summary, the panel found that USACE has made considerable efforts in recent years to improve the AAE process by developing model agreements and standardized guidelines. There are currently 28 PPA models.