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County Commission approves agreement to provide fire suppression services to Bloomfield

Move is being cited as cost-saving measure

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — San Juan County will soon begin providing fire suppression and emergency medical services to the City of Bloomfield.

The County Commission has approved the contract with the City of Bloomfield. The City Council had previously approved the contract on a 3-1 vote. Mayor Cynthia Atencio and City Councilor Ken Hare attended the July 7 meeting at the San Juan County administration building in Aztec. The meeting was livestreamed on YouTube.

Bloomfield Mayor Cynthia Atencio and City Councilor Ken Hare speak to the San Juan County Commission, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Aztec.

Officials say the contract will save both San Juan County and Bloomfield money by reducing redundancies in service and will improve response time, especially to areas like Sullivan Road and Magnum Road that are in unincorporated areas neighboring the city.

The vote came after years of discussion between the county and the city. Bloomfield has struggled to adequately staff the fire department after a federal grant that paid firefighters expired.

More:Bloomfield votes 3-1 to contract with San Juan County Fire Department

The current Bloomfield Fire Department employees will become San Juan County employees and the county will utilize the Bloomfield Fire Department building and equipment.

Bloomfield Mayor Cynthia Atencio speaks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, during a San Juan County Commission meeting.

“This is a win, win,” Hare said. “I think it’s a historic agreement.”

He added that it will serve as a model for similar agreements going forward.

County Commissioner Jim Crowley said the agreement allows San Juan County to have faster response times and provides Bloomfield with “people to respond.”

“It’s not just been about a cost-saving measure for the City of Bloomfield,” Crowley said. “But it’s a cooperative effort which saves money on both our parts.”

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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San Juan County Fire Department will soon provide service to the City of Bloomfield and oversee the Bloomfield Fire Department.