Kirtland plans to build a park during fiscal year 2018

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KIRTLAND — The town of Kirtland anticipates a small budget surplus during fiscal year 2018.

The budget anticipates about $800,000 in revenue and approximately $654,000 in expenses. The Town Council unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018 budget during a meeting Tuesday. 

Local governments are required to submit budgets to the state by June 1 for review. 

Mayor Mark Duncan said the anticipated surplus funds that can be placed into a savings account.

"We've got it covered this year," he said before Councilor Larry Hathaway made the motion to approve the budget.

Following the meeting, Duncan said the town's main project during the upcoming fiscal year will be constructing a town park next to the future town hall. The town hall is currently being built and should be completed this summer. It is located at 47 County Road 6500 next to the Kirtland Youth Association.

The town paid cash to build the $600,000 town hall and will likely use cash for the park. 

Duncan said the construction of the town park will likely cost about $65,000 and the town has budgeted $110,000 for building, operating and maintaining the park during the upcoming fiscal year.

During the town council meeting, the council discussed the potential closure of the San Juan Generating Station and the coal mine. Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed ending its use of coal power by 2031. 

This has Kirtland and other local governments concerned. Warren Unsicker, the CEO of Four Corners Economic Development, said closing the power plant and mine could lead to a loss of 650 direct jobs as well as 1,000 indirect jobs in the community.

Kirtland is the closest incorporated municipality to the power plant and the mines. 

"The workers live in our community," Duncan said after the council meeting, referring to the employees of the mine and the power plant.

Duncan said the town is hoping to attract a urea plant, which could employ residents, however it would not replace the jobs lost if the coal mine and generating station closed down.

"It hurts the entire county," he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

 

 

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