Farmington City Council will discuss signs, electric utility rate for solar panel users

Dan Schwartz The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — At its meeting Tuesday, the Farmington City Council will discuss several items, including a project that calls for placing signs at the city's entry points.

Tonya Stinson, the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director, will update councilors on that work. Stinson said she isn't sure how much the entire project will cost, but each sign, with lighting and construction materials, is expected to cost approximately $35,000.

"But that is a really rough estimate," she said.

She hopes construction can begin before the end of the year.

"We're just very excited to get these up," she said.

The council is also scheduled to decide whether to adopt a new rate for Farmington Electric Utility System customers who use solar panels greater than 10 kilowatts in system size and who need supplementary city electricity.

The utility's business operations manager, Sue Nipper, said that includes few customers.

"There's just one customer that's approached us about this," she said.

The new rate's demand charge would be $11.97 per kilowatt of billing demand, according to the resolution.

Unlike rate agreements for smaller solar panel-using customers, the city utility will not pay those customers for extra electricity they generate and send into the grid.

Nipper said that is an introductory rate, and it will expire after two years.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, City Manager Rob Mayes is scheduled to announce that the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration approved the city's fiscal year 2016 budget. The budget includes $224,908,946 in revenue and $248,859,719 in expenses.

The council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 800 Municipal Drive.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.