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Farmington City Council awards bid for Among the Waters trail construction

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A washed out area where a bridge will be installed is pictured, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, on a portion of the Among the Waters trail in Farmington. The City Council approved a contract to complete the Among the Waters trail, which will connect the confluence of the Animas and San Juan rivers with Boyd Park.

FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington reached another milestone as it works to build trails along the river.

On Nov. 17, the City Council unanimously approved a $1.1 million contract with Halo Services, Inc. for the construction of the Among the Waters Trail, which will ultimately connect the area near the confluence of the San Juan and Animas rivers with Boyd Park.

The proposed funding presented to the City Council included money from the Community Transformation and Economic Development fund, the CTED renewal and replacement fund, bond funding and park improvement funds.

A video recording of the City Council meeting can be found online at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter.

A mallard flies over the San Juan River, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, along the Among the Waters trail.

City Manager Rob Mayes said when the City Council cut the budget earlier this year, it did budget funding for trail building.

“But it’s not enough to do as much as we had hoped,” he said.

It also has a renewal and replacement fund for projects that qualify as CTED projects. This money is not assigned to any particular project.

But several councilors expressed hesitation about using funds that were originally allocated for renewal and replacement to build a new trail.

Councilor Linda Rodgers said using $250,000 from the renewal and replacement fund doesn’t leave the city with any money if something unanticipated happens.

The Farmington City Council awarded a bid to complete the trail system connecting the area around the confluence of the San Juan and Animas rivers with Boyd Park.

“I’m for the trails, I really am. I just want to make sure we’re not getting ourselves put in a corner,” she said.

Rodgers ultimately made the motion to award the bid to Halo Services.

Councilor Sean Sharer expressed concerns about the public perception of moving money from the renewal and replacement fund. 

"We understand that we're taking things out of our savings account and putting it into our checking account to pay the bill," Sharer said.

Fencing is placed on the Among the Waters trail where a bridge will be built to replace a washed out section.

However, Sharer said the general public that does not regularly attend council meetings may not understand that.

Mayes said when he brings the budget adjustment to the City Council at a future date he will include options for the $250,000 that staff proposed to use from the renewal and replacement fund.

Mayes told the City Council that if Farmington wants to build the trail it needs to find $250,000 to do so and the renewal and replacement fund is the most readily available source. 

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

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