BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council voted Tuesday to amend the development agreement with Bethel Development Inc. to extend the completion for The Bluffs senior housing on DP Road from Dec. 21, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2022.
County Community Development Department Manager Paul Andrus told Council that a lot of construction projects have been impacted pretty severely due to COVID. He said due to those delays, the project actually has received an extension of one year under their low income housing tax credit obligation from the federal government and also from the state Mortgage Finance Authority. He said the extension is going to be required to bring the project to completion and make the units available for low income senior households.
Councilor Sean Williams asked if there is “any kind of explanation of how the Department of Energy released land that was certified clean to the County and then discovered radioactive waste on it”. County Manager Steven Lynn responded that he didn’t believe any radioactive waste was found on The Bluffs site. Williams responded, “But on an adjacent site that was ultimately still Manhattan Project usage”.
“The property line that was imposed after the Manhattan Project is a hair that I am not interested in splitting,” Williams said.
Lynne said he just wanted to offer clarification The Bluffs site is not impacted.
“In terms of the explanation of how other property was released, obviously there was some part of their sampling that wasn’t adequate, that’s the only explanation I understand,” he said.
Williams said ultimately the cleanup was inadequate.
Lynne noted that he plans to extend an invitation to DOE Environmental Management to give an update on the Middle DP Road Project at the Council’s next work session, and that they may be able perhaps answer Williams’ question a little more directly at that time.
Councilor Denise Derkacs asked pointed out that although there was not material found on The Bluffs side, there were potholes dug throughout the parcel as a precaution and Andrus confirmed that that was correct and that nothing was found.
Council voted to extend the completion date but Councilor Williams voted against the motion.