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CDBG funds may help pay for downtown revitalization
Aztec City Commission will discuss changes to utility rates during Tuesday meeting
FARMINGTON —The Farmington City Council will review plans for projects to fund using Community Development Block Grant money during a public hearing as part of its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The city receives an annual allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds the city receives are based on its population and its number of low- to moderate-income residents.
A public comment period opened July 24 and will end with the City Council meeting Tuesday.
This year, the city has proposed using the $358,000 it received on nine projects.
The largest portion of the funds will be used on the downtown Farmington revitalization project. The project aims at making downtown a safer area for pedestrians and bicyclists.
City Councilor Linda Rodgers, who represents the downtown area, said she is excited about the revitalization project.
"I think the money we put into downtown is very worthwhile," she said.
About $233,000 will be allocated for the downtown project, according to city documents. The rest of the money will be divided among eight public service projects. Each project will get a little less than $7,000.
The funding will go to a homeless shelter, assistance for senior citizens, emergency rental assistance, child care services, social service referrals, mentoring and educational assistance, a domestic violence shelter and an emergency food bank.
The Aztec City Commission also will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss utility rates.
Customers of the city's utility may see a decrease in their electric rates this year. In a text message, City Manager Joshua Ray said Aztec has been planning on lowering electric rates for some time. The city entered into a new power purchase contract in 2016, which lowered the amount that Aztec pays to obtain electricity.
But Aztec's wastewater and water rates have been an area of contention for several months. There have been three potential water and wastewater rate structures proposed, but the city has not yet decided which one to adopt.
The City Commission will be asked to consider a $5.65 water rate increase for all customers within city limits and an $8.48 increase for customers outside city limits. Commissioners also will consider an $11.45 increase this year for wastewater rates followed by a $9.28 increase next year.
Also on the table is possible $2 increase in trash rates this year followed by a 45-cent increase next year.
The City Commission will be asked to approve publishing a notice of intent to adopt the rate changes.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.