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Los Alamos County 2020 Annual Report

A word about the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020…

Like other communities around the nation, Los Alamos County had to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing situation when the coronavirus began moving into New Mexico in March. From the onset of the virus in early 2020, the County’s Emergency Management team went to work and began immediately coordinating and brainstorming with Department Directors and front-line employees to find ways to address the situation locally before it reached a critical point. County staff met weekly in the early days of the pandemic to identify stop-gap measures for short-term functionality, exploring creative ways and identifying options that would keep employees and community members safe, while maintaining adequate work force numbers with reserves that might be needed as the pandemic worsened. Working together with community counterparts, by the time the virus was rapidly sweeping across the country, the County’s team had already developed a longer-term resiliency plan to keep essential services up and running safely and effectively, successfully procured emergency medical supplies, and drawn up plans to quickly begin modifying building ingress/egress and customer contact-less solutions. Through it all, employees remained upbeat and highly responsive, continuing to adapt as needed or suggest ideas that might keep services operational with little or no disruption. The success of the County to steer its way through the pandemic in the last nine months is a testimony to the County’s commitment to provide excellent customer service – a benefit that citizens have come to know and expect in Los Alamos. THANK YOU, Los Alamos County employees, for your loyalty and service!

Welcome...

...TO THE 2020 ANNUAL REPORT!

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for our community. Like so many others, in mid-March the County shifted gears with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to change up the way we deliver services, updates to online work processing and contact-less ways of interacting, and modifying work schedules for some employees to work remotely when possible. By adapting and responding quickly, the County was able to keep projects on task and within budget, and I would like to share just a few highlights that you will see outlined in the Annual Report.

First, it’s exciting to see new housing projects under construction. New housing opportunities are visible along DP Rd., known as Canyon Walk Apartments, and in White Rock, Mirador Subdivision is wrapping up the first phase of single-family homes and will move forward with its mixed-use project in 2021 on the same property. Both projects will bring more options and housing availability to Los Alamos in the near future. The Hill apartments and a new senior-focused housing development was also approved and should be under construction soon, while homes in North Community on the former Black Hole property are also under construction.

Canyon Walk Apartments along the Canyon Rim Trail

The County and School Board also moved ahead in December with a Memorandum of Agreement to work together to consider a new housing project on Schools property owned near the Middle School. The County has funding through a State grant to fund the infrastructure design, and the project’s focus was the topic of several public workshops this past year.

Downtown Master Plans were launched this summer for Los Alamos and White Rock, and related work on two sections of the County’s code (Chapter 16 and 18) will support the work coming out of these efforts, a combination of planning, design and public feedback that will advance related projects in the works, such as the Urban Trail and expansion of the Canyon Rim Trail into the downtown area. Likewise, the new Marriott hotel also moved from conceptual to site planning/design at the end of this year, with a strategic location on Trinity Drive. Marriott will build an 86-room hotel as well as a new conference center that can seat up to 300 people for large events. The County also put two Trinity Dr. properties up for sale in late 2020, and entered into a due diligence 90-day phase to consider a future purchase of the CB Fox and Reel Deal Theater properties, which are a key part of the downtown area.

New Splash Pad in White Rock

Capital projects moved to construction for four quality of life initiatives. The Multi-generational Pool addition to the Aquatic Center is funded for construction by 2022, a Splash Pad for White Rock was substantially completed and should open Spring 2021, the first phase of the Golf Course irrigation replacement was completed this past summer, and improvements to the locker rooms were constructed at the Ice Rink.

Finally, a variety of infrastructure projects occurred in 2020 – most noticeably with the State Department of Transportation’s NM502 roundabout project, which achieved significant progress during the past year. Funding for infrastructure for DP Rd. was approved and moved to design, wayfinding signage was approved for additional funding in July and will soon go out to bid, conceptual design is expected to begin soon for the Tween Center, and plans to redevelop the WAC Building is a future project slated to get underway as we head into 2021.

Despite the coronavirus impacts encountered by the County, I am proud of our employees and their demonstrated ability to adapt, change, and in some cases, reinvent the way we deliver services, to keep things running smoothly. Our economy has been fairly resilient in the County, thanks to a continued hiring boom by LANL, and I am confident as we close out the year that 2021 will be a year full of opportunity, new challenges and options for economic growth. We will continue to move ahead with the Council’s goals while providing citizens with the most cost effective services every day. My door is always open to you – please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Harry Burgess

Los Alamos County Manager

2020 Healthiest Communities in the U.S. - #1 Los Alamos County - U.S. News & World Report

Quality of Life

Priority Area: Increase the amount and types of housing options

NEW HOUSING PROJECTS TAKE SHAPE

2020 saw an increase in new housing start-ups in several areas, a positive sign that the County is moving forward in the right direction with its plans to address the housing shortage. Housing of all types and sizes continues to be one of the top priorities for the County. Several key housing projects are under construction or finishing design:

Mirador Subdivision Enters Final Stage of Development (White Rock)

A-19 Acquisition Group (affiliated with Raylee Homes) is continuing with its planned construction of 161 houses on the land formerly known as DOE Parcel A-19-a on the north side of NM4 in White Rock. The final phase of Mirador was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission in December. It is a mixed-use project constructed just west of the White Rock Visitor Center. The project, in addition to the single family homes currently under construction, will add 60 multi-family rental units.

Mirador Subdivision

Canyon Walk Apartments – Affordable Housing on DP Rd. Wrapping Up

Canyon Walk Apartments, located just east of the Columbia Club (formerly the Knights of Columbus Hall) on DP Rd. encompasses three acres of land donated by the County for construction of 70 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Construction of the units, along with related infrastructure on DP Rd., is projected to be completed this spring. The apartments will provide housing for those who are income qualified. Canyon Walk Apartments is being constructed by Bethel Development using tax-credit incentives supplied through the State of New Mexico, and its location provides easy walkability to businesses at the nearby Smith’s Marketplace via the Canyon Rim Trail.

The Bluffs – Site Plan Approved for Seniors Affordable Housing on DP Rd.

Bethel Development plans to build 64 units in a second income qualified tax incentive project for DOE Parcel A-8-b, located across the street from A-9 on DP Rd. The Bluffs will be using a second State Tax incentive and provide affordable housing specially designed for seniors. The site plan was approved this year and construction will begin in 2021.

Top Left: Arkansas Place; Top Right: Canyon Walk Apartments; Bottom: Schools' North Mesa Housing Project

Schools’ Housing Project on North Mesa Moves Forward

The County worked with Schools this year to hold several design workshops with focus groups and the general public. The Council met with the School Board in November and entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate on this project. The next step will be for the designated committee to consider the appropriate density, target population, and design elements of the development that incorporate the desires of the Schools, County and surrounding neighborhoods. The property is east of the Middle School and owned by Schools. The County will use a State legislature capital outlay grant for $475,000 for the project.

Arkansas Place – New Housing Under Construction on Arkansas Ave

T2 Development is in the process of building 44 single-family homes on the site that was once home of “The Black Hole.” Work should be completed in 2021.

Canyon Rd. Housing: Site Plan In Progress

Private property on Canyon Rd. that was sold to a developer last year will add 100 units. The site plan is in progress and expected to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2021.

The Hill – New Apartments for Rent Coming Soon

The developer is wrapping up final construction plans to build 144 apartments on this canyon-edge property formerly known as DOE Parcel A-12 and A-13, south of Trinity Drive near Los Alamos Medical Center. Road improvements will be made to Trinity Drive in 2021 to accommodate the additional traffic turning to/from the complex, and the planned completion date is August 2023.

The Flats at Oppenheimer Adds Apartments Along Trinity Drive

A local developer completed a construction project this year to convert 8 offices into apartments by adding an additional floor to an existing office building at the corner of Oppenheimer and Trinity.

Land Use Committee Explores Options for New Housing

Guided by the 2019 Housing Study, the County’s Land Use Committee consists of members from Council as well as key staff. The Committee meets monthly to address strategic land use with an eye toward land use that will support businesses and housing, while balancing needs for open space and egress. This fall, they directed issuance of an RFP for two County-owned parcels on Trinity Drive to be sold to interested developers. Three proposals were received and after evaluation, could be awarded in 2021.

In addition, the committee submitted a request to the DOE last summer for a land transfer in southern White Rock that could be used for housing. While not approved, the committee will continue in 2021 to explore options for other parcels that might be transferred from the DOE for future housing opportunities.

Work being done as part of the Home Renewal & Homebuyer Assistance Programs

Programs Continue to Help with Home Repairs, Purchases

The Community Development Department continues to contract with the Los Alamos Housing Partnership (LAHP) to offer income qualified individuals in two ways:

Home Renewal Program -This program is now in its fifth year with a budget of approximately $200,000. Low-income homeowners in Los Alamos County are eligible to apply for both financial assistance and a technical assistance program. Projects include upgrades that promote energy efficiency, accessibility and other necessary home repairs. Qualified contractors are hired to make the improvements after submitting bids on projects within their field of expertise. LAHP received 11 applications for new projects, which are currently being reviewed by the loan committee. 11 home repair projects were completed in 2020.

Homebuyer Assistance Program –This program entered its third year and continues to be heavily used. Prospective homebuyers who are income qualified can apply for assistance for a low-interest loan for a down payment, without adding to monthly mortgage costs. Loans range from $8,000 to $25,000 and the program has a budget of $150,000. Five home purchases were completed in 2020, with a sixth home purchase nearing completion. Since its inception, 18 homeowners have been helped using the funds provided in this program.

2020 Best Counties to Live in America: #1 Los Alamos County - Niche.com

Priority Area: Protecting, maintaining and improving our open spaces, recreational and cultural amenities.

Capital Projects Head into Construction in 2020

The first portion of the Golf Course Improvements project, as well as completion of improvements to the local Ice Rink and construction of a new Splash Pad for White Rock’s Piñon Park were accomplished this year. A new Multi-Generational Pool project (adjacent to the Aquatic Center) was placed out to bid and awarded for construction by the Council in December. A recap of each project’s amenities is below:

Multi-Generational Pool

The Multi-Generational Pool is funded with a construction budget of $7.2 million and will offer an easy entry zone, splash features, lazy river and slide is underway. The Pool will be built using County land on the eastern grassy slope of the existing Aquatic Center with access provided from the main pool. The pool is expected to open in 2022.

Golf Course Improvements

Planned improvements at the local course focus on replacing the aging and inefficient irrigation system with a budget of $4.524 million. Phase I was completed, with Phases II & III to go. Improvements are being phased in over three years to keep a portion of the course open for play. Construction will continue next year.

Los Alamos County Ice Rink

Ice Rink Improvements

With a budget of $1.2 million, the outdoor Ice Rink in Los Alamos Canyon benefited from six new locker rooms as well as a referee changing room. The new locker rooms were added to the south of the warming hut. The existing locker room/restrooms building were converted into more restrooms, and the HVAC system was upgraded to support the new amenities. Construction was completed in November and the Ice Rink re-opened for business in December.

Splash Pad at Piñon Park in White Rock

The project has a budget not to exceed $720,000 and construction is wrapping up with a targeted opening date in Spring 2021. Artwork related to the Splash Pad was also approved this year through Art in Public Places.

Two New Projects Added in 2020: WAC Building Renovation and a home for a New Tween Center

Public Works staff will be working with a consultant on the WAC Building plans in 2021, and an RFP to hire a consultant to explore options for a Tween Center (for middle school aged youth activities) was issued at the end of 2020.

Canyon Rim Trail

Trail Projects Gain Momentum - Canyon Rim Trail Expansion

The County has State funding to build an underpass under NM502 that will connect the Canyon Rim Trailhead with LA Mesa Trail on the north side. The project has been designed but additional funding is needed after two requests for bids in 2020 did not prove successful.

The Urban Trail Project has received funding and is part of overall transportation plans to connect the Canyon Rim Trail and extend it further into the downtown area from Smith’s Marketplace. More information about this project is below.

Bike Flow Trail – Location, Location!

Staff explored an option through Los Alamos Canyon for the long-envisioned bike flow trail and approached DOE/LANL about use of the canyon. Although that idea was not fruitful, the entities did indicate they might be able to support single, day-use events through the canyon, and that will be explored by use of special permitting in 2021.

2020 Best Counties to Buy a House in America: #1 Los Alamos County - Niche.com

Economic Vitality & Financial Sustainability

Priority Area: Enhancing support and opportunities for the local and small business environment

GROWING LOCAL…

Hotel/Conference Center Moves Ahead

TNJ LLC will construct an extended stay hotel (Marriott Towneplace Suites) with 85 rooms on County-donated property on Trinity Drive, near Ashley Pond park, along with a conference center that can seat up to 300 people with a beautiful setting overlooking Los Alamos Canyon. TNJ will manage bookings for the conference center, and has agreed to promote small business interests by actively seeking local vendors for its coffee shop/restaurant. Site plans will go to the Planning and Zoning Commission in January 2021 and construction could get underway later next year. Once built, a traffic light will be installed at 20th/Trinity to allow easy access to/from the site, addressing safety concerns about pedestrians safely crossing Trinity Drive to get to Ashley Pond Park.

Updates to Assist Businesses

The County updated its Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) to include new language that reflects changes in State law. The County’s Procurement Code was updated to match State Language regarding local preference.

New Businesses Come to Town

Anytime Fitness opened a fitness center in Spring 2020. Charley’s Landscaping opened for business this summer. Natural Grocers celebrated their grand opening in November. Los Alamos Public Schools’ Credit Union broke ground for a new building at 1010 Central Ave.

Trinity Drive Properties For Sale

The marketing of two Trinity Drive parcels could bring new retail to the area – an RFP was issued and three developers have responded.

Left to Right: Charley's Landscaping & Natural Grocers

SUPPORTING LOCAL...through planning and funding...

Downtown Master Plan – Seeking Public Feedback

As part of Phase I of this project, the Community Development staff, along with their consultant Dekker Perrich Sabatini, held a series of public meetings over the summer with White Rock and Los Alamos residents about updating the Downtown Master Plan, a project that has been urgently needed for many years. Documents were posted online along with surveys to gain public feedback. Progress updates to solicit Council feedback along the way were also held this fall. After seeing that the voice of youth was not participating in the future look/feel of the downtown areas, a meeting to include feedback from teens will be held in January 2021. Phase II will occur in 2021, when DPS and CDD hold another series of meetings to draft a new Chapter 16 Development Code. Both phases will culminate in separate public hearings upon completion of the respective deliverables.

Helping Local Businesses during the Pandemic

The County received funds from the State that were quickly turned around to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. $1.55 million to 60 businesses were given out as grants in two rapid rounds of funding between November and December. All State funds had to be expended by December 31, and the County exceed this timeline with dedicated Finance and Procurement staff, as well as a community-based team reviewing the applications.

Left to Right: DP Rd. Infrastructure: Trinity Drive Improvements; White Rock Downtown
2020 10 Best – Most Secret National Park: Manhattan Project National Historical Park - USA Today

SUPPORTING LOCAL...through enhanced tourism improvements…

WAC Building’s Future Begins to Take Shape

The Christian Science Church vacated this building - the former women’s dormitory during the days of the Manhattan Project - and an RFP to hire a consultant is underway. The consultant will be holding public meetings and working with the County in 2021. The outcome will be a plan regarding how to move forward with any use or restoration of the property, which is expected to be included in the Historic Walking Tour of downtown Los Alamos.

Wayfinding: Signage Plan Gets Additional Funds, Moves Ahead

With additional funding approved on July 1, the signage plan was expanded to include more signs that will assist tourists in navigating their way around for the historic downtown Los Alamos area and attractions. A bid package is in development, with a goal to fabricate and install the signs in 2021.

Fuller Lodge Lobby – New Display

A television monitor was installed this fall that continuously plays a video about the Lodge and its many rooms, to assist and orient visitors who want to explore the rustic lodge. The former windows at the south end of the Lodge (currently display spaces) will also be uncovered and restored in 2021. The Chimayo hand-woven rugs on the walls of the Lodge were sent to a professional service to be cleaned and restored. All of these small touches make the Lodge a top attraction that is near local businesses, with a goal to entice visitors to linger longer and have lunch or shop downtown.

ScienceFest: Eyes on the Future – with a Virtual Online event!

MainStreet organized this event, which had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It spanned four days in July and featured a variety of interactive, fun games and speakers. ScienceFest offered 20 activities and 16 organizations went live with events on Discovery Day on July 18. Overall, 32 organizations assisted with ScienceFest and brainstormed ways to keep this signature event exciting. The goal this year amid the pandemic was to keep potential visitors interested in all that Los Alamos offers, with the hope that they will come visit once the crisis ends.

Left to Right: WAC Building; Fuller Lodge Lobby Digital Display; ScienceFest Virtual Events
2020 Safest City in New Mexico - #1 Los Alamos - National Council for Home Safety & Security

Quality Governance

Priority Area: Improve utilization and aesthetics of vacant buildings and properties

Enhance commercial property maintenance code enforcement standards

An RFP was issued at the end of 2020 for a rewrite of Chapter 18. Work and public outreach will kick off in 2021 and the final document is expected to go to Council by the end of 2021.

Code enforcement activity was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic for several months this year. From January 1, 2020 through November 20, 2020, CDD issued a total of 16 Notice of Violations (NOVs), as compared to 2019 when 40 NOVs were issued during approximately the same time frame. In the previous year (2018) CDD issued a total of 135 NOVs.

Bottom Left to Right: Old Smith's Building, Old McDonald's Building, Old Little Saigon Building
2020 Best Counties for Families in America: #9 Los Alamos County - Niche.com

Priority Area: Expand transportation and mobility options and address parking challenges

The County continues to work with its regional partners and the Laboratory to consider holistic solutions for the needs and challenges facing Los Alamos and White Rock in the context of expanded housing and employment in the County and the desire to create a walk-, ride-, and environmentally friendly community.

Several projects related to mobility and roadway improvements were mentioned in previous sections, tied closely to investing in infrastructure.

Improve New Mexico SR4

One key project closely being monitored and endorsed for construction by the State is to widen and improve the Truck Route and New Mexico State Road 4 intersection. This project will add capacity and help reduce traffic congestion. Additionally, the project will provide better access into Tsankawi (part of Bandelier National Monument) with a future parking lot off the highway to further improve safety at this intersection. Construction is planned for Summer 2021.

Top to Bottom: Downtown Los Alamos Urban Trail Project; Canyon Rim Trail
2020 Best Places to Live in New Mexico - #1 Los Alamos, #2 White Rock - Money Magazine

Priority Area: Supporting social services improvements

Supporting safe, healthy options for Youth

The Council awarded two contracts to local contractors in December to assist with family support services, in response to a gap analysis completed in July. Data from the gap analysis was used in the RFP process to evaluate where the County can and should help address critical needs. The study results provided options on how to improve our social services programs. As part of this goal, the new Health Council continued to meet monthly and discuss ways to collaborate in common areas of concern.

Studying locations for a new “Tween” Center

As mentioned earlier, the County has $400,000 budgeted for “Investigation and conceptual design for a Tween Center for grades 6 to 8” that would provide a safe place for Middle School aged children to enjoy activities and programming. The County has a Teen Center and Youth Activity Centers, but this option would provide better age-appropriate options. In 2020, the Library supported the planning efforts by surveying middle school aged children about the types of classes, activities or events they might enjoy attending. Working with youth is a focus area for the County’s contractors. The bid package for consulting services to explore options for a location for the Tween Center should be issued in early 2021.

Increasing access for Individuals seeking Behavioral/Mental Health Assistance

The Social Services Division implemented Open Beds, an interactive system that provides a live view of inpatient and outpatient beds that are open around the State, and includes electronic referrals.

2020 Counties with the Best Public Schools in America: #1 Los Alamos County - Niche.com

Priority Area: Investing in infrastructure.

NM502 Roundabout Wraps Up Work

The State’s roundabout project at the eastern edge of Los Alamos is nearly complete; crews are wrapping up work for the winter, with some final items to be completed in Spring 2021. Through the year, the County invested significant staff time and effort on behalf of the community to keep Los Alamos represented. Public Works staff coordinated closely with the State DOT on this complex project, attending weekly meetings and providing input or voicing concerns over any portion of the project that might negatively impact motorists or nearby residents.

NM502 Roundabout Nearing Completion

Urban Trail Corridor Takes Shape

The County has two NMDOT funded programs for Urban Trail projects, under the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program.

Design of Phase I of the project will soon get underway for a multi-use path that begins north of Trinity Drive at 20th Street and continues north to Spruce Street. This starting point provides a connection to the Canyon Rim Trail system. A future traffic signal at the Trinity Drive/20th Street intersection will be installed once the Marriott Hotel/Conference Center is built to facilitate trail crossing at Trinity Drive. Phase I will follow 20th Street along the west side, crossing Central Avenue and along existing pathways through the east side Fuller Lodge lawn and 19th Street, then meandering along neighborhood streets to Spruce Street. Environmental/Cultural studies and clearances for this portion of the project began in December and should wrap up by May 2021.

Phase II of the project will be a multi-use path that begins at Spruce Street where Phase I concludes. From Spruce Street the proposed trail is an off-street multi-use trail traveling north and then southwest through a forested undeveloped landscape surrounding the Canyon Road tennis courts and eventually linking the Nature Center and Aquatic Center along the north side of Canyon Road. The trail will connect to recreational centers, recreational trails, and bike lanes on Canyon Road that continues to and along Diamond Drive. Project approvals are in progress with NMDOT for design and this project, along with Phase I, should be completed in June 2021. After design, construction documents will be assembled and both Phase I and II should be built beginning in Summer 2022.

The goal of these projects is to provide residents and visitors with a non-vehicular thoroughfare to the downtown business district. Additionally, the project will help connect businesses, tourism, retail, schools, parks, recreation, and residences as envisioned in the Bicycle Transportation Plan. Completion of these projects will also increase the County’s chances to improve from a bronze-level to a higher level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.

Under the TAP and CMAQ, Phase I of the trail is funded for design and construction in FY 2021/22 for $700,000 and Phase II is funded in FY 2020/22 for $3,605,000. The County will supply a 14.56% local match required by the grants, totaling approximately $102,000 for Phase I and $525,000 for Phase II.

Top to Bottom: Food Composting; Zero Waste Team

Environmental Sustainability Plan: Outreach, Metrics Continue to Track Progress

Environmental Services staff completed their last year of updating the metrics in their sustainability plan. The initial 2015 plan had recommended updating the metrics after 5 years.

Priority work continues on food-waste education and diversion efforts (an RFP was recently issued for a composting feasibility study to support backyard composting), wildlife protection by expanding use of bear-proof carts, and updating the County’s facility condition assessments to identify potential energy reduction and environment improvement opportunities.

A citizen group petitioned for a more comprehensive County-wide sustainability plan that incorporates all departments and other invested Boards and Commissions such as the Board of Public Utilities and their carbon-free energy goals, the Parks & Recreation Board and Transportation Board for their operations and CIP input, and P&Z for potential code updates/requirements of community development projects. In response, Council plans to form a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Committee to explore these options and make recommendations by December 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual and COVID-safe events were held including: the 13th Annual Clean Up Los Alamos Day, Recycle Art Fair and Fashion Show, a drive-in movie screening and panel discussion of Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, a compost webinar series, and the People’s EcoChallenge.

The Environmental Sustainability Board members and the Zero Waste Team continue to work with staff on a variety of zero waste articles and short videos to engage the community. The articles and videos have been focused on food waste prevention education and are submitted monthly to local media and published online. The Zero Waste Team has contributed to the development of backyard composting educational materials.

New Food Composting Feasibility Study Kicks Off

Environmental services and its Environmental Sustainabilty Board will be working with a contractor to conduct a food waste composting feasibility study. The goal is to have a pilot project and eventually provide more options for the community to engage in composting. The study will explore various options in 2021.

Left to Right: Ashley Pond Park; Photo Courtesy of NuScale; DR Rd. Infrastructure Work

Coordinating on Utility Infrastructure Needs – the Carbon Free Power Project Moves Ahead

The Council and DPU have been pursuing options to participate in the Carbon Free Power Project this year, as participants in the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), and voted in November to advance to the next phase and approve the associated Budget and Plan of Finance. Integral to this phase will be the preparation of the Combined Operating and Construction License Application (COLA) for the proposed CFPP - a nuclear generating facility to be sited in Idaho utilizing small modular reactor technology. Upon direction of the Board of Public Utilities and the County Council, Utilities Manager Philo Shelton on behalf of Los Alamos County (a participant in the CFPP) voted with the majority.

Considering the number of participants in this phase went from 35 to 27, which includes a new member (Wells Rural Electric) and a total subscription level at 100 megawatts, Shelton elected to reduce Los Alamos County’s subscription. Shelton lowered the County’s subscription from 11.2 to 6.37 megawatts, maintaining the target price of $55 a megawatt hour on 2020 dollars. Prior to submitting the COLA in May 2023, and prior to starting construction in December 2025, the County will have the flexibility to adjust the subscription level or exit the project.

DP Infrastructure Receives Funding

Council has approved $4 million for FY21 to upgrade the utility and street infrastructure on DP Rd. Design coordination got underway in fall 2020 and is expected to move ahead, with public outreach planned in 2021. Accomplishing this project would result in more opportunities to develop the land along DP Rd., which also supports goals for Economic Development.

2020 Best Small Towns in America - #17 Los Alamos - PopSugar.com
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Left to Right: Los Alamos County Councilor's Strategic Planning Session, Zoom County Council Meetings
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