FARMINGTON — Farmington city councilors on Tuesday chose a flood mitigation project as the top priority on a list of five legislative lobbying goals.

The other projects on the infrastructure capital improvement projects list are in order of priority: a new fire station, extensive waterline improvements, a regional detox center, and a river park and Native American market place.

City Manager Rob Mayes said in an interview after the morning work session that the city will lobby the Legislature to fund projects on the list with capital outlay money.

"This is a process by which they vet and prioritize taxpayer dollars," he said, so that money can be sent back into communities.

Construction continues on a Farmington public works project on Lakewood Drive. Farmington city crews are building a detention pond in the area of Lakewood
Construction continues on a Farmington public works project on Lakewood Drive. Farmington city crews are building a detention pond in the area of Lakewood Drive to help lessen flooding damage. The pond collects and slowly releases surging storm water. It should be finished by the end of August. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

Ryan Gladden, the city's drainage project engineer, said detention ponds are the best options for preventing flood damage.

For this project the city may request $1.9 million from the Legislature during its next session. The total bidding price for the other projects is $15.5 million.

The city has identified about 10 areas within its boundary hit hardest from monsoon flooding in recent years, and it is building a detention pond now in the area of Lakewood Drive. Rains in 2010 and 2013 left the city with $5.5 million in damages — flooding parking lots, culverts and arroyos, according to city officials.

City documents indicate the detention pond will be built on vacant Country Club Elementary School property, but the location is not yet certain, Gladden said.

"We've had some preliminary talks with the school," he said, but an agreement has not been made.

The list's second priority — a new fire station and associated equipment — is listed with a bidding price of $4 million. Fire Station No. 7 would be built in the North Foothills area, which has grown significantly in the past decade, according to city documents.

Waterline improvements — the third ranking priority — is listed with a bidding price of $6 million. Miles of sewer lines were laid when the city grew from about 3,600 to at least 23,000 in the 1950s, and many of these lines are too small or too old, according to city documents.

The regional detox and treatment center is ranked fourth on the list with a bidding price of $2 million. The city could collaborate with other agencies to operate an emergency shelter, protective custody and offer detox and intensive treatment services, according to city documents.

The fifth project, a Totah river park and Native American market place, is listed with a bidding price of $3.5 million, and it combines two projects. The park would include a green space and plaza built similar to Chicago's Millennium Park on about 31 acres the city would need to buy along the Animas River, according to city documents. The market, a key element of the park, would allow vendors to sell Native American arts, according to city documents.

Mayor Tommy Roberts said in the meeting that a project excluded from the list is no indicator that it's not important.

"What we're simply saying here is it's not likely to be funded by the state," he said.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.