City commissioners in the southern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences are proposing a moratorium on well drilling in the city.
Officials took the unusual step Tuesday night to enable a study of whether the number of wells tapping into the town's famed hot springs is harming the resource, considered by some to be sacred and medicinal. The thermal springs are the lifeblood of the town and its eclectic mix of inns and spas.
The proposal, which will be up for a vote July 17, is pitting some of the original hot springs businesses against newcomers. Bill Martin, owner of the 82-year-old Artesian Bathhouse and RV Park, says reduced pressure in his lines has forced him to close a third of his tubs. Richard Epstein, owner of Firewater Lodge, says the moratorium is unnecessary.