Three monuments will soon welcome visitors to the city

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FARMINGTON — Visitors to Farmington will soon be greeted by large monuments at several entrances to the city.

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working for years to get monuments positioned at entry ways to the city. On Tuesday, the City Council gave the go-ahead for getting bids to construct three of the four monuments.

The council also approved changing the location of one monument from New Mexico Department of Transportation land to a parcel owned by the city at the intersection of Ojo Court and N.M. Highway 371, also called the Bisti Highway. The other locations include one on the west side on U.S. Highway 64 near Fire Station No. 6, and another in the northeast corner of town on N.M Highway 516 near Farmington Lake.

Tonya Stinson, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said her organization will pay for the project. The next step will be to get bids for the project. While the construction price is still unknown, DHM Design, the design company hired by the bureau, estimated each monument will cost between $40,000 and $50,000, Stinson said.

Stinson said residents voted on design elements through online surveys. She said 66 percent of people favored the final design out of the three presented designs. Stinson said the monuments will be about 9 feet tall and 24 feet wide, and they will be lit. Each monument will say "Welcome to Farmington" and include the Jolt Your Journey logo, part of an effort mounted by the bureau a few years ago to create a brand for the city.

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In addition to the design work, Stinson said each monument will be surrounded by landscaping that will be based on its location. One factor that will be evaluated in the landscaping process is how much access there is to water.

Stinson said developing the monuments at the entrances to the city has been talked about for decades. With the new brand in place, Stinson said it was a good time to build the monuments.

"We don't want to wait any longer," City Manager Rob Mayes said when reached by phone today.

There will ultimately be four monuments, but the final one will not be built until after a highway-widening project on the east section of U.S. Highway 64 between Farmington and Bloomfield has been completed.

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

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