Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

City Asks Water To Add Staff.

Byline: Steve Shoup Journal Staff Writer

* Commission also wants to take over utility's billing, customer service

Rio Rancho wants to take over the billing operation for its water and sewer system and is asking the private company that runs the utility to add more maintenance staff.

"The two biggest things are one, bolstering the maintenance staff, particularly on the waste-water side, and second, taking over customer service," James Jimenez, city administrator, said Monday.

The Utilities Commission tonight is set to review the contract extension with Severn Trent Environmental Services to run the city's water and sewer system for another year. STE is nearing the end of a three-year contract and is seeking the extension.

The city will pay STE nearly $2.5 million for a year of service, the proposal says. The city also increased maintenance funds that are available to STE from $350,000 a year to $540,000.

The maintenance funds are in addition to the new contract and will go toward specialized maintenance that is beyond STE's capabilities or expertise or that might involve special equipment, Utilities Director Larry Webb said Monday evening. …

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