Negotiations OKd for Complete Streets designs

The engineering designs will allow the city to begin to work on funded portions of the complete streets project in downtown Farmington

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON — The City Council unanimously approved a measure tonight to begin negotiations with an Albuquerque-based company for engineering designs for the downtown revitalization, or complete streets, project.

City officials have been directed by the City Council to enter into negotiations with an Albuquerque firm for engineering designs for the complete streets project in downtown Farmington.

The council will have to approve the final contract with Occam Engineers Inc. after negotiations are complete.

Thomas Madrid, the president of GeoMat Inc. — a Farmington firm that will be doing the geotechnical engineering for Occam — attended the City Council meeting today.

“I look forward to successful negotiations and a successful product,” he told councilors at the end of the meeting.

Following the meeting, City Manager Rob Mayes said the engineering designs will serve essentially as blueprints. After the designs are complete, the city will send out requests for bids that will help determine the price of the currently unfunded project.

Mayes said portions of the project such as lighting and the downtown monuments are funded, and work on those portions can be started once the engineering designs are approved.

Public Works Director David Sypher said that process takes four to six months and will involve opportunities for the public to comment.

Citing the downturn in the local economy, Mayes said the city does not know when the majority of the work on the downtown complete streets will take place.

“We can only do high essential projects or those with a unique funding source,” he said.

Mayes said the council will make the determination on when to begin the project based on the economy and availability of funding. The portions that are currently funded will be started once the engineering designs are complete.

“This remains a very high priority for the City Council,” he said.

In other news, the City Council heard a report about the use of Community Development Block Grant funding over the past year. A requirement of the funding is that a Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report is completed each year. The council meeting included a public hearing about the CAPER.

According to the CAPER, the city of Farmington has used CDBG funds to help pay for projects like the 20th Street construction. The project on 20th Street aims to make sidewalks more accessible for people with disabilities. It also is intended to improve safety for pedestrians. Construction began this year, but has been delayed. The project will continue in the spring.

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