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• AZ811, NM811, and CO811 have been selected to host a group of International Visitors to the United States who are attending the National CGA Conference. Scott Landes says the three centers are well run and structured and will be a great help to the other countries in developing their damage prevention processes. The visitors will begin their tour immediately following the National CGA Conference & Exposition held in Phoenix Arizona March 11-16, 2014. The visitors will get a one day tour of each facility and an overview of its operations, state laws, and processes these centers find effective. They will also have the opportunity to meet with board members, center staff and state regulators who are an integral part of what the centers do to support damage prevention.

• Customer Survey results were again outstanding in 2013. 91% of respondents stated their experience with NM811 was “excellent” or “good”, up from only 86% in 2012. Positive comments or “no improvement needed” increased by 1.5%. While customer experiences are getting better with NM811, many respondents commented about fluctuating wait times and mapping issues. Both issues have been addressed by the Board of NM811 and they have taken action to help improve customer experiences. The board has authorized the implementation of the Web Portal which should make it significantly easier to enter a web ticket and will also provide an integrated map to the user in making the ticket. The board also authorized hiring two new operators to improve wait times. The operator positions were posted through the end of January and positions will be filled during February. New operators will undergo six weeks of training. They should be well on board by spring when activity picks up considerably.

• Membership surveys for 2013 also show NM811 is meeting member expectations in the categories of controlling operating cost, educating the public about calling before digging and supporting damage prevention programs. 83% of the respondents indicated NM811 was doing “excellent” or “good” on the average for these three issues. Two thirds of the members feel there is no need for improvement in the way NM811 operates. The other one third expressed comments and educating the public was the largest issue. Second largest issue was somewhat of a surprise, identifying more enforcement as an issue. Both issues indicate that people not knowing about the law and those who do know the law but don’t comply are now the major concern of the underground facility owners.

• Northern New Mexico is undertaking a very large project to develop a regional water system. The Federal Government’s settlement of the Aamodt project provides for the Pojoaque Water Basin Project to develop a water system to serve the San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Nambe, Cuyamunge, and Tesuque Indian Reservations and private land in the region. The first part of the development phase is survey work and potholing to locate the entire existing infrastructure in the area before the design of the water system commences. The project contractors are utilizing the Wide Area Locate process to manage the field work in coordination with the pueblos and the many activities occurring at the pueblos during the project. This is a major water project for New Mexico and the first large scale effort to get the utilities located before designing a project to minimize the impact on existing facilities. It will take several years to finish the construction after the design is completed.

• The Public Regulation Commission’s District 4 representative, Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, will serve as Commission chairperson in 2014. Commissioner Valerie Espinoza from District 3 will be vice-chair. Becenti-Aguilar, a Democrat, has served on the commission since 2010. Espinoza, also a Democrat, and former Santa Fe County Clerk, recently completed her first year in office. Both were voted into position by their fellow commissioners on Jan. 8, 2014.

• As the saying goes, March Madness is here. The term for basketball season is often applied to the pipeline industry as public awareness meetings across the state are beginning to ramp up. They begin early in February and last through the end of March. The Four Corners Damage Prevention group has scheduled 10 public awareness meetings around the state and southern Colorado. Paradigm also continues to provide meetings for much of the state and will hold a total of 29 meetings. The meetings focus on emergency responder groups as well as excavators in certain counties. For more information on the Four Corners Damage Prevention Group’s meetings you may contact Barbara Jackson by phone at 505-634-4954 or by email at Barbara.Jackson@Williams.com. For a schedule and location of the Paradigm meetings you can access their web page schedule at URL: www.pdigm.com/meeting_schedule.php and enter in your zip code for the closest meeting.

• NM811’s annual meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 23, 2014 and will be held at the NM811 Building located at 1021 Eubank Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112. The meeting is open to NM811 members and invited guests only.

 

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