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AZTEC — The City Commission unanimously approved the final budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 during a meeting here Wednesday.

The budget of a little more than $38.8 million was presented to the commission in May, and there have been only a few changes since then.

City Manager Joshua Ray told commissioners that the differences are mainly due to the ending of fiscal year 2015.

Kathy Lamb, the city's finance director, said after the meeting that not all of the projects budgeted for fiscal year 2014-2015 were completed, and those projects were rolled into the budget "so we have funds available to finish projects."

Those projects include the North Main Avenue Corridor Expansion and the Simonds Road reconstruction.

One other change Ray highlighted to the commission was the Airport Fund. All funding for the Airport Fund and its associated projects has been removed from the budget until the city receives a funding commitment from the Federal Aviation Administration or the aviation division of the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Once the city receives that commitment, it will require special budget resolutions.

In the preliminary budget, nearly $1.8 million had been set aside for the Airport Fund.

Another change to the budget came from the East Aztec Arterial Route.

The price for phase 1B of the arterial route increased from about $3.3 million in the preliminary budget to about $5 million in the final budget while the budget for phase 2 decreased from about $3.8 million to $1.5 million.

Lamb said the changes for the arterial route came partially because phase 1B is one of the previous year's projects that rolled over.

Another reason for the change is that in May, the state had not yet approved the capital outlay bill, which gave Aztec $1.5 million for the arterial route. Because of that, the city had not budgeted the $1.5 million it received from the capital outlay bill into its preliminary budget, Lamb said.

The commission also unanimously approved the construction contract for phase 1B of the arterial route Wednesday evening.

In the previous meeting, the commission had awarded the bid for the phase to Oldcastle SW Group Inc. After officials meet with the company in August, the city will give Oldcastle SW Group Inc. a notice to proceed with construction.

After construction commences, officials predict it will take approximately 210 days to complete.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.

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