Meetings scheduled to gather public input on county planning initiatives

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan County officials are holding a series of public meetings beginning this week designed to solicit public input on the county's top planning initiatives over the next five years.

County commissioners approved a preliminary list of the top 20 initiatives compiled by county officials during their July 6 meeting. County residents are encouraged to weigh in on the items on that list before it is updated and sent back to the commission for final approval later this summer.

The first meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14 at the County Administration Building, 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec. The second meeting is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 21 and will take place in a virtual format by WebEx at sjcounty.net/hearing. Registration is required.

The final meeting in the series is planned for noon on Wednesday, July 28 at the Lower Valley Senior Center, 17 County Road 6668 in Fruitland.

The agenda for all three meetings will cover the county's five-year infrastructure capital improvement plan and its interim strategic plan for 2022 through 2026. It also will feature a report on past Community Development Block Grant programs.

The preliminary list is headed by the goal of providing stronger support for law enforcement. Other items on the list include increasing local farming opportunities, expanding recreational opportunities, developing a rail system between Gallup and Farmington, the creation of vocational high schools, improving relations between the county and the Navajo Nation, expanding affordable housing programs, developing a local film industry hub, increasing opportunities for county staff development and improving the behavioral health work force.

County officials started with a list of 115 initiatives that was pared down to 20. Deputy county manager Jim Cox said his staff then scored each of them for fit and feasibility, ranking them on a list of first through 20th.

County Manager Mike Stark has said the idea is for the county to accomplish four of the initiatives each year over the next five years.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.