Legislators will discuss impacts of closing San Juan Generating Station

Other meeting topics include stray animals, taxes and priority projects

The Daily Times staff
A legislative committee will discuss the planned closure of the San Juan Generating Station in 2022 when it meets this week in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — As the potential closure of the San Juan Generating Station approaches in 2022, local leaders are focused on educating state legislators about the impacts the closure will have on the Four Corners area, as well as the state.

The looming closure will be one focus of the state’s legislative Economic and Rural Development Interim Committee meeting Tuesday at San Juan College’s School of Energy.

The committee will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The Tuesday portion of the meeting will include presentations about the impacts closing the generating station will have on the local community, as well as what the communities are doing to prepare.

The committee also will discuss ways the Legislature could help impacted communities.

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Kirtland will discuss pets

The Kirtland Town Council will meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kirtland Town Hall, 47 County Road 6500. The council will discuss contracting with the city of Farmington for public transit using the Red Apple Transit system. It also will debate where to send stray and unwanted pets.

After San Juan County announced it no longer would pay to house animals from within the Kirtland town limits at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter, the city of Farmington told Kirtland the recently incorporated town will have to foot the bill. Kirtland will have to pay either Farmington or Aztec to house animals or the two animal shelters could turn Kirtland animals away. That could leave Kirtland residents with no place to take unwanted pets.

Aztec, Farmington will continue discussions about taxes and finances

Both Aztec and Farmington have discussed the possibility of raising gross receipts taxes to help build cash reserves. The Aztec City Commission and Farmington City Council will continue those discussions during their 6 p.m. Tuesday meetings.

Neither Aztec nor Farmington will make a decision about raising gross receipts tax during this week’s meetings. Farmington will also discuss its strategic financial plan, including areas where it potentially could cut spending.

Farmington City Council to discuss priority projects for upcoming years

Each year the city of Farmington creates a list of 10 priority projects to focus on in the upcoming years. The City Council will discuss these priority projects during its 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

The various departments in the city have identified potential projects to include in the list. The projects include:

  • Adding amenities to Farmington Lake including a dock, restrooms, road improvements, a boat house concessions area, playground and day-use facilities, as well as extending the water and sewer lines to the lake. This project is estimated to cost $5 million.
  • Creating a trail that will connect Farmington Lake with the Glade Run Recreation Area. That likely would cost $500,000.
  • Removing the grass at Ricketts Field and replacing it with artificial turf. That would cost $1.1 million, but will reduce the annual maintenance costs for the facility.
  • Building a BMX course that could host regional events and support the outdoor tourism industry. That would cost about $1 million.
  • Creating an entry to the river trails system at the intersection of Main Street and 20th Street. The entry would include a market area for artisans, food vendors and activities. That is estimated to cost $3 million.
  • Building an all-abilities park that would be accessible to people with disabilities. That would cost about $2 million.
  • Restoring the historic Palmer House across Allen Avenue from the Farmington Civic Center. The house is believed to be the only original adobe home in Farmington and dates to the late 1880s or 1890s. The restoration work would cost $1 million.
  • Building a new bike trail for beginner mountain bikers to learn skills required for the longer trails in the Farmington area. That would cost $1.5 million
  • Installing security cameras in downtown and along the river trails to deter crime and assist police officers. That would cost about $3 million.
  • Lengthening the ends of a runway at the Four Corners Regional Airport. The project is intended to help attract commercial air service to Farmington and likely would cost $3.45 million.

A complete list of identified projects is available in the agenda packet at fmtn.org.

Not all of the projects on the list will be completed, but creating the list helps the city receiving funding such as state and federal grants or loans.

Other meetings include schools, Bloomfield

The Bloomfield City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 915 N. 1st St.

The Central Consolidated School District Board of Education will meet at 4:30 Thursday in the Shiprock Board Room.

The Bloomfield school board is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday at 325 N. Bergin Lane.

The Aztec Municipal School District board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the district offices at 1118 W. Aztec Blvd.