County considers burn ban due to drought conditions

Local municipalities expected to adopt preliminary budgets

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A sign on East Main Street informs passing motorists about the latest drought conditions Friday in Farmington.
  • Aztec is looking at ways to decrease spending as its cash reserves dwindle.
  • Bloomfield will have a Community Advisory Committee meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.
  • Farmington and San Juan County are looking for federal funding for the Pinon Hills Boulevard extension project.

FARMINGTON — Drought conditions have local officials concerned about fire danger and water shortages.

The San Juan County Commission could choose to ban open burning due to the dry conditions during its meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec.

If the commission bans burning, it would be following in Farmington’s footsteps. The city banned burning earlier this month. Farmington has also asked for voluntary conservation of water.

A burn ban would mean county residents would need to take debris such as weeds to the county landfill.

San Juan County Fire Chief Craig Daugherty will update county commissioners about drought conditions. The County Commission will review its decision to restrict certain types of fireworks that can be sold leading up to the Fourth of July.

Preliminary budgets likely will be approved Tuesday

The city of Aztec will not be providing the Aztec Municipal School District with the additional school resource officer that the superintendent requested.

Finance director Kathy Lamb told the City Commission that the city could end fiscal year 2019 with only $4,000 in its general fund if it does not cut spending.

The city has used cash reserves and transfers from the joint utility fund to balance its budget throughout the economic downturn over the past several years.

That will require the City Commission to make some tough choices. During their first budget workshop on Thursday, commissioners discussed delaying work on the North Main Avenue extension project, raising taxes or selling the business incubator, also known as the HUB.

The City Commission likely will approve a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2019 during its Tuesday meeting. It can submit the current proposed budget to the state, but Lamb said the commission should decide on ways to reduce spending prior to submitting the final budget in June.

Aztec is one of four entities that likely will adopt preliminary budgets on Tuesday. Aztec’s meeting can be viewed live on the city’s YouTube channel. The commission will have a work session at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday to continue discussion about the budget prior to adopting it. The City Commission meets at 201 W. Chaco St.

Farmington will have a public budget presentation during its 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting at 800 N. Municipal Drive. The meeting can be watched live at

The San Juan County Commission will adopt its preliminary fiscal year 2019 budget during a 4 p.m. Tuesday meeting, and the Kirtland Town Council will adopt its preliminary budget during a 4:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting. The council meets at 47 County Road 6500.

Bloomfield, MPO to meet Thursday

Bloomfield will have a special meeting of its new Community Advisory Committee at 7 p.m. Thursday at the multicultural center, 333 S. 1st St.

The Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the San Juan County Commission Chambers at 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec. The regional transportation planning organization will discuss supporting a Farmington and San Juan County application for federal grant funds for the Piñon Hills Boulevard extension project. The project would connect Crouch Mesa with east Farmington.

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