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Farmington hopes to turn land near Boyd Park into gathering space via Brownfields grant

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The city of Farmington hopes to turn a contaminated site into a city event plaza and gathering place where food trucks could potentially park.

This property, located at the intersection of Miller Street and Piñon Street, consists of seven parcels, the largest known as the old Graves property.

The City Council unanimously approved applying for an $800,000 Brownfields grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during its Oct. 20 work session, which was streamed live via Zoom and can also be watched online at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter.

City Manager Rob Mayes said it is a good grant with a very small required city match of $40,000 over the five-year term.

The site falls within the city’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Area, which includes downtown, San Juan Regional Medical Center, Boyd Park and the neighborhoods surrounding the Civic Center. This area has been designated as a place the city would like to invest in revitalizing.

Elizabeth McNally, a member of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency Commission, said the site has had previous remediation done and was contaminated by petroleum. However, should the city receive the grant and choose to proceed with the project, she said a technique known as phytoremediation would be used. This involves planting certain species of trees to absorb and contain the contamination. Those trees could later serve as a footprint for the greenspace the city plans to create.

“This would support and complement the nearby adjacent outdoor recreation businesses that are going in,” she said.

In addition to the vacant land, the city owns a building in that area which earlier this year the City Council leased to two outdoor recreation businesses.

Mayor Nate Duckett said the city has been hoping to develop the area near Boyd Park for years, highlighting that when he was first elected to City Council in 2014 the city had plans to build a park called Totah Park in that area.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.