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SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (Border Report) – A border neighborhood prone to flooding will get new water and wastewater pipes as well as improved street drainage thanks to federal grants administered by the state of New Mexico.

Donnie Quintana

The City of Sunland Park will spend the $750,000 Community Development Block Grant in the vicinity of Morocco Street in a neighborhood less than 100 feet from the Rio Grande known as Anapra.

“It’s a great project,” said Donnie Quintana, chair of the state’s Community Development Council.  “They (Sunland Park officials) are leveraging additional funding – $150,315 – to be able to complete the project. It’s going to benefit 236 low- to moderate-income beneficiaries.”

Flooding got so bad in the neighborhood in the fall of 2018 that some officials floated the idea of relocating the entire population elsewhere, according to media reports at the time. Instead, the city awarded a contract for a new pumping station.

Morocco Street sports a groove down the middle as a stop-gap measure against flooding. (Border Report photo)

Today, worn-down Morocco Street sports a groove down the middle, but the streets parallel to it end right at a levee causing river runoff to overrun it, residents said.

Quintana said the design phase of the project in Sunland Park is “95 percent completed.” Water utility trucks could be seen along the river levee on Tuesday.

“Sunland Park officials identified this project as their number one priority and it’s great to see we were able to assist them with funding. We look forward to being able to see it come to completion,” the state official said.