Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Water freezes on the Animas River on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, near the future site of river trail expansion.
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Water freezes on the Animas River on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, near the future site of river trail expansion.
FARMINGTON — About two miles will be added to the Animas River Trail following City Council's Tuesday evening purchase of a little more than 13 acres of land for $369,285.

The property is located off of Rail Road near its intersection with Largo Street. The river is running low and ice is beginning to form around the banks, but area's still-visible wetlands are a new feature for the trail.

"This is a critical piece (of the trail)," said Councilman Dan Darnell. "The topography is different. The trail can stand over (the river) and you can meander through it. You get a different perspective."

The land will also provide the last portion of the trail needed to connect with the planned Pinon Hills Bridge, Darnell said.

"I just think it's a great idea," he said. "I'm glad we were able to negotiate the deal."

This is not the first time the city has tried to purchase the land, according to Councilwoman Mary Fischer.

City Council tried to strike deal about six years ago with the Los Ninos Limited Partnership, represented by banker Greg Anesi, but backed out at the last minute, Fischer said.

"(Anesi) was able to put all that behind him, which speaks to his character," she said.

The new location's scenery is making an impression on those who have seen it.

"I have walked it ... and it's impressive," Fischer said. "I can't imagine what newcomers will find with it the peacefulness and tranquility.


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The land purchase offers the city an opportunity to turn the river trail into an integral part of the city, she said.

"This is a pretty significant piece of the river trail system," Fischer said. "The river trail could be a cornerstone for Farmington. I think it's well worth the money spent. We should have purchased this years ago."

The trail also could have an impact on economic development, similar to Bosque del Apache in the southern part of the state, she said.

"I really think this could be a real addition as far as making Farmington a tourist destination," Fischer said. "I think that wildlife habitat and a nature experience are very profitable tourist draws. It's something that people will enjoy."

The land purchase is a good deal for the city, said Jeff Bowman, the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director.

Anesi will donate $65,000 and water rights valued at approximately $65,000 to the city after the land is sold, Bowman said.

"This will give us another chunk to connect the trail system," he said. "It's all part of the master plan."

City Council tried to strike deal about six years ago with the Los Ninos Limited Partnership, represented by banker Greg Anesi, but backed out at the last minute, Fischer said.

"(Anesi) was able to put all that behind him, which speaks to his character," she said.

The new location's scenery is making an impression on those who have seen it.

"I have walked it ... and it's impressive," Fischer said. "I can't imagine what newcomers will find with it the peacefulness and tranquility."

The land purchase offers the city an opportunity to turn the river trail into an integral part of the city, she said.

"This is a pretty significant piece of the river trail system," Fischer said. "The river trail could be a cornerstone for Farmington. I think it's well worth the money spent. We should have purchased this years ago."

The trail also could have an impact on economic development, similar to Bosque del Apache in the southern part of the state, she said.

"I really think this could be a real addition as far as making Farmington a tourist destination," Fischer said. "I think that wildlife habitat and a nature experience are very profitable tourist draws. It's something that people will enjoy."

The land purchase is a good deal for the city, said Jeff Bowman, the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director.

Anesi will donate $65,000 and water rights valued at approximately $65,000 to the city after the land is sold, Bowman said.

"This will give us another chunk to connect the trail system," he said. "It's all part of the master plan."