Aztec, Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments discuss plans for outdoor rec facility

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — After receiving $500,000 in capital outlay money last year, the Aztec City Commission hopes to use it to create a foundation for an outdoor recreation facility where businesses could operate.

Prior to retiring, former city manager Steve Mueller approached the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments about possible assistance with developing the outdoor recreation facility.

On Feb. 23, the Council of Governments presented a proposal for moving forward during a City Commission work session that can be viewed on YouTube. The city could in the future choose to enter into an intergovernmental service agreement for the project with the Council of Governments.

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An angler releases a rainbow trout back into Tiger Pond in Aztec.

The City Commission is hopeful that the $500,000 in capital outlay will just be a start and that the work the city does this year will encourage state lawmakers to consider additional funding. 

Initially the City of Aztec had viewed Riverside Park as an ideal location for the facility. However, this has changed since it first proposed the project. The funding it has received will help the city find a location and perform a market analysis.

A sign marks directions to the Mountain View trail, which is a popular place for mountain biking in Aztec.

Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments Executive Director Evan Williams said one of the things the Council of Governments has tried to determine is where the City of Aztec fits in relation to other assets and opportunities so that the city can carve out a niche for itself.

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He highlighted The Big Idea makers' space at San Juan College, which Williams said is a great place for entrepreneurs to start. Additionally, Williams said there is the business accelerator in partnership with Durango, Colorado, and the enterprise center at the college.

A sign marks an entrance to the Aztec Disc Golf Course, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at Tiger Park.

Williams said what is missing is where businesses go after they graduate from those types of programs. He gave an example from Grand Junction, Colorado, of a 150-acre mixed-use park that includes a 15-acre business park.

Aztec Mayor Victor Snover highlighted the bipartisan nature of the plan and expressed hope that there could be future funding.

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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