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Meetings roundup: Farmington may order demolition of 2 dilapidated motels on Airport Drive

US Highway 64 alignment study topic of virtual public meeting

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
The Farmington Fire Department investigate a blaze at the Sage Motel at the intersection of Glade Lane and Airport Drive on July 23.
  • The New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will host a virtual public meeting regarding a U.S. Highway 64 alignment study.
  • The Legislative Education Study Committee meets from Aug. 24 through Aug. 26.
  • The Aztec City Commission will discuss selling a portion of city property located along Newman Avenue.

AZTEC — Following structure fires, including a fatal fire a few years ago, the Farmington City Council may order the owners of two vacant motels located at 301 and 401 Airport Drive to demolish the buildings and remove all debris from the properties.

These properties are the Sage Motel and Sage North.

The city's chief compliance officer has recommended ordering the motels demolished and a resolution in the agenda packet for the Aug. 25 meeting describes them as "a menace to the public comfort, health, safety and welfare" and as "unsanitary and dangerous buildings."

The Farmington City Council meets at 6 p.m. Aug. 25. The public can participate in the meeting via Zoom and a password can be obtained by contacting the city clerk at 505-599-1101.

Other agenda topics include discussion of allocating some Community Development Block Grant funding to nonprofits in the community and approving projects for inclusion on the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan.

Charred items from the closed Sage North Motel are seen in the motel's parking lot in 2017 following a fire that damaged the building.

NMDOT seeks input on U.S. Highway 64 alignment study in Shiprock area

The New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will host a virtual public meeting regarding a U.S. Highway 64 alignment study. This study focuses on a portion of the highway from the Arizona state line to just west of Shiprock.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 27. People interested in attending can register at vekeo.com/NMDOT or by texting ‘NMDOT” to 833-898-5483.

The meeting includes presentations on the existing condition as well as study findings, including potential improvement options and priority plans. Public input is accepted.

Motorists travel on U.S. Highway 64 on Aug. 19 east of Beclabito.

Legislative committees meeting this week

The Legislative Education Study Committee meets from Aug. 24 through Aug. 26. Topics include school funding, impact aid, lessons learned from operating child care centers during COVID-19, challenges and potential solutions for serving students with disabilities and higher education institutes plans for returning to school this year.

The Legislative Finance Committee meets Aug. 26 through Aug. 28. Agenda topics include unemployment, broadband and the decision in the Yazzie vs. Martinez lawsuit regarding school funding.

Interim legislative committee meetings can be viewed online at nmlegis.gov.

Bloomfield closed session will focus on lawsuit against taxation and revenue department

The Bloomfield City Council will have a closed session during its 6 p.m. Aug. 24 meeting to discuss a lawsuit it was a plaintiff in against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department regarding gross receipts tax distributions and transparency. Following the closed session, the City Council could vote to authorize the city manager and attorney to negotiate and finalize a settlement in the case.

Prior to the closed session, the City Council will discuss the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan and reopening the library, which closed earlier this year due to COVID-19.

To participate in the meeting, call 425-436-6323 and use the access code 436935#.

Aztec considers selling 0.29 acres along Newman Avenue

The Aztec City Commission will discuss selling a portion of city property located along Newman Avenue. Newman Avenue is a dirt road in west Aztec near the county offices. In 2004, the City Commission approved a mobile home park and allowed it to encroach onto Newman Avenue. Currently, about 0.29 acres of the mobile home park is located in city right of way. The owner of the park is hoping to sell it, but the buyer is uncomfortable with the encroachment.

This encroachment was done for spacing of the units in the mobile home park.

Meanwhile, residents along the east side of Newman Avenue have been hoping to get the road paved and are concerned with the proposed sale of the 0.29 acres, which would make it harder for the city to pave the road and install sidewalks, curb and gutter. Several residents have asked the city not to sell the property and to undo the encroachment, allowing the road to be expanded and paved.

Additionally, seven of the residential units may be located over an underground electric line.

The city could instead opt for a long-term lease and require that any mobile home units are replaced with the correct spacing to move the park out of the right of way.

The City Commission meets at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 and the meeting can be viewed on YouTube.

Other meetings

The Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education will meet at 3:45 p.m. Aug. 25 for a work session followed by a regular 5:15 p.m. meeting. The agenda and links to participate can be found on the district website.

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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