ATLANTA — The state is facing a $1.8 billion shortfall in the coming months.
That’s according to a new report by a task force that’s investigating how to replace the state’s aging pipes.
The task force is expected to release its report Monday.
The state needs to find at least $1 billion in savings over the next two years to keep up with projected costs, said the task force’s chairman, State Sen. Brian Babin.
The state has been spending about $1 million per day to replace about 6,000 steel pipe at more than 20 facilities in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, according to the report.
The cost is expected a lot higher than that.
Babin said he expects to have a better picture of the state of the pipes after he speaks with state officials and experts.
Babis is asking that the Legislature create a taskforce of engineers, engineers, planners, architects, consultants and other experts to look at all aspects of how to maintain, repair and replace steel pipes.
Babis said he wants to see the taskforce’s report before it recommends any changes.
The task force recommended the state add more than 1,000 pipe replacement projects.
The most recent was a $200 million project at a Shell gas station in Albuquerque.
Babin said that could be done without having to pay for the cost of the pipe replacement, and the Legislature could help pay for it.
“We’re asking the Legislature to get involved and make sure that we can do this without having any additional taxes or fees for the state,” Babis told The Huffington