New site said to provide better viewing for annual show

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BLOOMFIELD — Fire concerns have prompted the city of Bloomfield to relocate its holiday fireworks display this year.

The city will set off the fireworks from the hill to the west of “B” hill, located north of Bloomfield City Hall off of U.S. Highway 550 on July 5.

The city has previously set off fireworks from the Foutz and Bursam Gravel Pit located south of the river walk near the San Juan River.

The change in venue was sparked by concerns that the vegetation near the river could catch fire.

“There’s a lot more vegetation down there by the river,” said Fire Chief John Mohler during a City Council meeting Monday evening. “There’s a lot less up there.”

While the drought conditions, which Mohler described as the worst in the country, prompted the change in location, Mohler said Bloomfield residents may prefer the new site.

He said the new site provides a better view for most residents.

“You can probably see it from your backyard,” he said. “You can see it from all the city parks.”

Mayor Cynthia Atencio said if the residents prefer the new location, the city may try to make the change permanent.

“It will probably be a better view from all over town,” she said.

The fireworks show will be synced with the Bloomfield Fire Department’s radio station, 93.5 FM.

Volunteers Autumn McMurry and Tony Herrera have worked to organize events for children and families prior to the fireworks display. The gathering will be held at the Bloomfield High School practice football field east of the high school. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. at the field, but vendors can set up starting at 4:30 p.m.

The Bloomfield show is one of three fireworks displays planned locally. Farmington will shoot off fireworks from Sullivan Hill on July 3, and Tommy Bolack will present his annual fireworks display on July 4 at his property in south Farmington.

McMurry pointed out that Bloomfield’s display is unique because the city provides an area for people to set out blankets and watch the event from a lawn. Many people watch the fireworks in Farmington from cars, she said.

For more information about the Bloomfield display, contact City Clerk Dorothy Nobis at 505-632-6300.

Bloomfield is asking for state funds for streets

In other Bloomfield news, the City Council approved applying for a local match waiver from the New Mexico Department of Transportation that would allow the city to use state funding for crack sealing and road maintenance projects.

The city is asking for a $300,000 grant that would normally have a $100,000 local match. If the Department of Transportation approves the waiver, the city would only pay $25,000.

Public Works director Jason Thomas said the city initially applied for a $22,000 grant for a crack seal project. He said a few weeks after the city submitted the application, the Department of Transportation informed him of a larger grant for which the city is eligible.

“What was a small crack project over several city streets will be much larger,” Thomas said.

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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