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CRRUA town hall on Friday


Sunland Park and water utility officials are hosting a town hall this Friday as scrutiny over water quality issues from Camino Real Regional Utility Authority have increased.

On Thursday, Sunland Park city clerk Karla Herrera posted a notice that a majority of the six councilors could be present at the town hall.

“The event is not a ‘public meeting’ within the definition of the Open Meetings Act,” the notice read. “No policy will be formulated; nor will any discussion be had for the purpose of taking action.”

In recent months, the Camino Real Regional Utility Authority (CRRUA) has received multiple citations for violations of water quality from New Mexico environment officials. This includes allegations that water with high levels of arsenic was sent to customers for potentially more than a year.

The meeting is hosted by Sunland Park city councilor Alberto Jaramillo, said Udell Vigil, a spokesperson for the Camino Real Regional Utility Authority.

Jaramillo invited CRRUA interim executive director Juan Carlos Crosby to give a report at the town hall, Vigil said. There’s no agenda for the meeting.

Jaramillo and Sunland Park mayor Javier Perea are also Camino Real Regional Utility Authority board members.

At a city of Sunland Park meeting Tuesday, CBS 4 reported that frustrated community members asked Perea and members of the city council to step down, as state agencies boost scrutiny over the utility’s water quality issues.

Four Las Cruces attorneys have filed a tort claim against Sunland Park, an action that often comes before a lawsuit. The lawyers allege that CRRUA violated residents’ civil rights for failing to tell them about a malfunction which sent water with a high pH to more than 1,000 households. The company waited days to tell the public about the contamination issue.

The utility will not be sharing any additional information at Friday’s meeting, according to another board member’s social media posts.

According to screenshots of a private Facebook group for Sunland Park residents obtained by Source New Mexico, Raul Telles Jr. the Camino Real Regional Utility Authority board vice chair said the utility’s answers would be limited during the meeting on Friday.

“So you know in advance, no information other than what has been made public, found on the corresponding pages for CRRUA, will be discussed or answered,” Telles posted on the Facebook page.

One of the attorneys representing residents in the tort claim, said that CRRUA was “blaming the attorneys” instead of offering answers.

“CRRUA continues to finger-point away from itself, and is failing to take responsibility,” said attorney Israel Chávez, when reached by phone Thursday.

Sunland Park, water quality issues, town hall