Commission to discuss electricity, golf course

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON – The Aztec City Commission will have a special session Monday night to discuss a new electric power purchase contract and the Hidden Valley Golf Course.

The city received 15 proposals for electric power supply contracts after it sent out a request for proposals in May. Two of the 15 proposals that came in were from Guzman Energy of Coral Gables, Fla., a firm that has offices in Denver, according to City Manager Joshua Ray. The proposals included a two-year contract and a seven-year contract. The seven-year contract includes Guzman Energy building a solar field that the city would take over at the end of the contract.

Rod Wimsatt tees off Nov. 3 at the Hidden Valley Golf Course in Aztec.

"It's a fantastic deal," Ray said.

If the deal is approved, Guzman Energy will construct the solar farm on a portion of city land south of Western Circle near the public works building.

Ray said construction would begin in January and the solar field would be operational by the time the city's current contract with the Public Service Company of New Mexico expires on July 1, 2016. The solar field will provide Aztec with one megawatt of power.

Ray said after the contract goes into effect in July, the city may be able to adjust its utility rates. The contract with PNM locked the city into a set rate when energy costs were high.

Edwin Reyes, a consultant for Aztec, said there will be a lag before utility bills go down, but he expects a noticeable change in what residents pay each month for electricity.

After the contract with Guzman Energy expires, Aztec will own the solar farm and will not need to purchase as much power in its next contract.

While the main purpose of Monday's session is to discuss the electric contract, the commission also will discuss transferring $35,000 from the electric utility fund to the municipal golf course fund.

The city assumed management of the 18-hole Hidden Valley Golf Course in February. The commission will review a quarterly financial report Monday. Ray said Friday that while the expenditures at the golf course have been less than budgeted, the course has not attracted as many golfers as expected, either.

"The revenues just aren't there yet," he said.

The commission will meet in January to discuss whether to continue managing the golf course. During the January meeting, the city staff will present the golf course’s financial report, which shows the operational costs and expenditures.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

The Hidden Valley Golf course is pictured Nov. 3 in Aztec.

If you go

What: Aztec City Commission special session

When: 5 p.m. Monday 

Where: Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco St.