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Meetings: Bloomfield school board considers return to remote learning for all students

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A trio of Bloomfield High School students work on classwork, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, while protesting the state public health orders that prevent them from attending class in person or participating in sports. The group was part of a protest at the high school.

AZTEC — Just a week after Bloomfield elementary students were able to return to the classrooms for a hybrid learning model, the school district is considering ending in-person learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students returned to the hybrid learning model on Jan. 19. This allowed some students to attend school in person while other students participated in remote learning.

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However, the Bloomfield School District Board of Education is considering returning to only remote learning. Middle school and high school students have been doing remote learning since March.

The board has scheduled a special meeting for 10 a.m. Jan. 27. The only agenda item is moving to a remote learning environment for all students until further notice. A link to the meeting can be found at bsin.k12.nm.us.

PRC weighs utility disconnection moratorium 

Thousands of New Mexicans are struggling to pay utility bills amid the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is looking for ways to assist them while also protecting small utilities from financial ruin.

The PRC has instituted a moratorium on utility disconnections for nonpayment as it debates the next step, however that moratorium is set to expire this week.

The switch yard at San Juan Generating Station is pictured, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Waterflow. Electricity generated at the power plant is shipped to other places in New Mexico as well as Arizona and other southwest locations.

The regulatory body will likely issue an order following its Jan. 27 meeting relating to utility disconnections for nonpayment. This will only affect PRC-regulated utilities such as investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives. These regulated utilities include New Mexico Gas Company.

The order will not apply to municipally-owned utilities like Farmington Electric Utility Service and Aztec Electric Utility.

The PRC may also approve sending a letter to New Mexico’s congressional delegation asking for COVID-19 relief funds to assist utility customers who have not been able to pay their bills.

The PRC meets at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27 via Zoom. The meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube and a link to watch the proceedings will be posted the day of the meeting on nmprc.state.nm.us.

Farmington City Council may award contract for electric rate and cost of service study

The Farmington City Council’s Jan. 26 meeting agenda includes a closed session to discuss the responses to a request for proposals for an electric utility cost of service and rate study.

Following the closed session, the City Council will reconvene in open session and award a contract. The city staff is recommending awarding the contract to NewGen Strategies and Solutions, Inc. There were five companies that participated in the request for proposals.

The City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 26 via Zoom. A passcode can be obtained by calling 505-599-1101 or emailing ajones@fmtn.org. A recording will later be posted at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter.

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Solid waste rates may increase for Aztec residents

The Aztec City Commission will discuss increasing rates for solid waste services. The city contracts with Waste Management of New Mexico for trash and recycling services. The company has requested a rate adjustment. If approved, Aztec residents would see a 60-cent increase per cart and a 22-cent increase for curbside recycling.

The City Commission may also consider increasing the frequency of recycling pick up to twice a month, which would lead to a $1.08 increase in rates for recycling.

The Aztec City Commission meets at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 and the meeting can be viewed live on YouTube.

Commissioners will vote on publishing a notice of intent to adopt the increased rate.

Bloomfield City Council discusses water

The Bloomfield City Council will discuss water rights as well as a contract with Blanco Mutual Domestic Water and Mutual Sewage Works Association when it meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 25. The city provides water to Blanco through the contract. People wishing to attend the meeting can participate by calling 425-436-6323 and using the access code 436935#.

The council meeting will begin with a presentation by students from the Bloomfield Municipal Schools regarding the city’s project to rehabilitate land contaminated with petrochemicals at the corner of West Blanco Boulevard and 5th Street.  

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Other meetings

The Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education meets for a work session at 3:45 p.m. Jan. 26 followed by a regular meeting at 5:15 p.m. The meeting and work session will be conducted using Zoom. A link is available on the school district’s website, district.fms.k12.nm.us.

The Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization's Policy Committee meets at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 28. People can participate virtually using a GoTo Meeting link provided on the agenda, which is posted at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter.

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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