LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas Village Council did not reach a decision on whether to deny or approve the amended request with Niagara for additional water use at the local plant. The council instead voted to table the item until more information can be obtained on the depletion of the aquifer.
A date was not set for when this item would again come before the council.
If approved, the proposed amended agreement with Niagara Bottling Company would allow Niagara to substantially increase the amount of water they pump from village wells.
Los Lunas Councilor Gino Romero initially made a motion to deny Niagara’s request and Councilor Cruz Munoz seconded the motion. Councilors James Runyun and Chris Ortiz voted in opposition to the motion, which left Mayor Charles Griego as the tie-breaker vote.
“Can we, within our system, accommodate the request?” Mayor Charles Griego asked. “The answer, I think, is yes. I understand there are other issues to be discussed, but the overall approval as to the health of the aquifer is not the province of this body; that is the province of the state engineer. Because of that, I vote no.”
With that, the vote to deny the request failed.
Councilor Ortiz then made a motion to table the item until more information can be obtained. Romero and Munoz voted no, and Ortiz, Runyon and Griego voted yes.
More information on the discussion to amend the agreement with Niagara at the Dec. 7 council meeting will be available in next week’s News-Bulletin.
Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.