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AZTEC — The Farmington City Council approved spending up to approximately $70,000 to renovate a property on East Piñon Street near Boyd Park. These renovations will allow two outdoor recreation businesses to open in the strategic location.

The city bought the property in 2019 and tore down most of the buildings on the six-acre parcel. However, one warehouse with office space up front was not demolished.

“It is in a degree of disrepair, but it is usable,” said Farmington Economic Development Director Warren Unsicker during a City Council meeting on May 26. The meeting was hosted using Zoom, and a recording can be viewed at fmtn.org.

When the city bought the parcel, officials said they hoped it would provide a place for outdoor recreation related businesses to operate.

“I think this is exactly one of the things that we envisioned for this property’s use,” said Mayor Nate Duckett.

Black Bear Unlimited will occupy the rear portion of the warehouse as well as one office toward the front. The business will provide custom off-highway vehicle fabrication as well as tours and vehicle extraction.

In addition, it will likely use some of the six-acre parcel to host outdoor events.

The rest of the building will be used by Desert River Guides, which will provide rafting tours on the Animas and San Juan rivers. The location near Boyd Park is close to both rivers and just a short distance from the confluence.

The majority of the funding for the renovations comes from the city’s Community Transformation and Economic Development fund. However, Unsicker said the state had awarded Farmington a grant for travel. That travel is no longer happening due to the coronavirus and the state has allowed the city to reallocate $15,000 of those funds to help pay for the renovations.

The two tenants will reimburse $12,500 of the expenses through rent payments over three years, however they will not pay rent for the first year. Each business will pay $260.41 in monthly rent.

Councilor Linda Rodgers said the city partnering with the two businesses is a great start to Farmington’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative.

“I’m really excited that in this time when we find ourselves quarantined and kind of wondering where the future is going to lie, that we have two companies that are willing to put it out there and go for it,” she said.

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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