Local governments to meet this week

Hannah Grover
The confluence of the Animas River, at left, and the San Juan River, right, is pictured Aug. 8 as a plume of orange water contaminated with mine waste flows through Farmington after the Gold King Mine spill.

FARMINGTON – Bloomfield residents may have the opportunity to vote this year on whether to keep a paid fire department.

For the last two years, the firefighters have been paid through a federal grant that expires in May. To keep paying the small staff, the city would have to create a one-quarter of 1 percent gross receipts tax.

“What’s being talked about is putting it to a vote,” City Manager Eric Strahl said.

That is one of several items on the Bloomfield City Council agenda for Monday. Councilors also will discuss the city budget and consider applying for a grant that would allow them to offer drop-off recycling.

In Aztec, city commissioners are expected to approve an agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department that would allow the city to be reimbursed for money spent as a result of the Gold King Mine spill in August.

The city will request approximately $158,000. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refunding the expenses and will send the funds to the New Mexico Environment Department to disburse to local governments impacted by the spill.

The commission will meet Tuesday evening. Commissioners also will hear a presentation about the city's audit for fiscal year 2015.

The Kirtland Town Council also will meet Tuesday and will continue discussions about annexing land, including the Riverview Golf Course. It will also discuss compensation for its mayor and town trustees.

The Farmington City Council also will meet Tuesday evening. The council is expected to approve safety improvements at the intersection of San Juan Boulevard and Scott Avenue. The lowest bid for the project is approximately $503,000.

Also on the consent agenda is a resolution to submit a request for funds to construct the Rock Garden Habitat Improvement Project on the Animas River. This construction would occur in Animas and Berg parks and would involve removing Russian olive trees and deepening the channel.

The council also will discuss the Villa View detention ponds project, which the city hopes will reduce flooding in east Farmington.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.