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BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield Fire Department will renovate an unoccupied building owned by the city and convert it into the department's new administrative offices.

The building, located at 104 S. 2nd St., was the city's first fire station. It is being used for storage. It has been used for city offices and the New Mexico Department of Transportation offices in the past.

The building was built in 1954 and had room for three fire trucks and a meeting room, according to The Daily Times archives. It has been expanded since its original construction.

Fire Chief John Mohler asked the City Council for approval to renovate and use the building, and the proposal was approved by a 3-0 vote. Councilor Matt Pennington was not present during the meeting.

Mohler said having a second location will increase the amount of funding the department is eligible to receive from the state fire fund. He said the department will use state fire fund money to rehabilitate the building.

Mohler did not say how much he anticipates it will cost to rehabilitate the building. In a memo, Mohler said the second building will increase the amount of state fire fund money the department receives by $80,000 to $100,000.

Mayor Scott Eckstein and City Councilor Elwin Roark said they support the use of the building as long as no city funds are used to rehabilitate it. Eckstein said the city is in a budget crunch.

"I do not intend to ask for any city money," Mohler said.

 

He said he plans to have the building operating as the administration offices by May.

"It's just sitting there and doing nothing," Councilor Curtis Lynch said.

He said if it doesn't cost the city money, it might as well be used to help the fire department.

The building will have offices and a training room. The training room also will be available for community groups to use.

"I think it's an opportunity to get the building rehabilitated," City Manager Eric Strahl said when Roark asked him for input.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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