4-H Day at the Roundhouse
By Katelin Spradley,
San Juan County 4-H Council Reporter
On Tuesday, February 11th, the San Juan County 4-H Council officers, members and leaders had a unique opportunity to travel to Santa Fe to participate in the statewide 4-H Day at the Roundhouse. An estimated 160 4-H members and leaders from around the state, including 50 from San Juan County, traveled to the state capitol to learn more about the NM legislative process and to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service within the nation’s land grant universities, such as New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Representatives Jimmie Hall and Paul Pachecho began the morning by talking about their role as representatives, which was followed by a tour of the galleries of the Senate and House of Representatives, the committee rooms, and the Office of the Governor. During the tour of the Roundhouse, 4-H members saw various types of world class art, some of which were from artists in our own county. In addition, Danielle Mueller, Jaton Rotman, Cheyenne Radojits, Alicia Garrison, and Mike Miller of the Freedom Riders 4-H Club served as pages on the floor of the Senate and the House and were introduced by Senator Steven Neville and Representative Paul Bandy from San Juan County. To round out the morning, the group witnessed the House of Representatives proclaim February 11th as 4-H Day at the Roundhouse.
After a question and answer session led by Senators Howie Morales and George Munoz, the San Juan County Council officers Rashel Korte, Kayli Farmer, Anissa Castro, Katelin Spradley and senior 4-H members Racine Eavenson and Shanna Moss had the chance to visit with Governor Susana Martinez while the other council officers, Analea Castro and Fisher Easley Smith, as well as other 4-H members took the opportunity to personally visit with their legislators. 4-H Day at the Roundhouse was a huge success and San Juan County 4-H members were thrilled to be a big part of it.
City of Aztec Arterial Project
The City of Aztec is excited to announce an appropriation of $3,819,775 for the East Aztec Arterial Route project. This appropriation was sponsored by Representative Paul Bandy during the 2014 Legislative session for the New Mexico Legislature. City staff worked with Representative Bandy throughout the year to highlight the benefits of the Arterial project and to develop a plan that will ensure the Arterial Route is completed.
The City began planning for the Arterial Route in 2005 to provide a designated alternative route for heavy truck traffic around the historic downtown district. Several attempts have been made at both the federal and state levels to secure funding but almost all have come up short. Last year City Commission, led by Mayor Sally Burbridge, developed an aggressive action plan to move this project forward. Although funding was not secured at the legislative level during the 2013 Legislative session, substantial progress was made to ensure future funding.
Mayor Burbridge, City Commissioner Sherri Sipe and City Commissioner Roberta Locke traveled to Santa Fe during the annual Municipal Day this year during the 30 day Legislative session. These three city leaders met with each of the 6 San Juan County legislatures to discuss the Arterial Project. During those meetings they were successful in getting a letter signed stating the support of each legislative representative. Senator Bill Sharer worked with our commissioners and set up a meeting with Governor Susana Martinez' staff to discuss this project and to hand deliver the signed letter of commitment. In the days following, Representative Paul Bandy worked alongside Senator Sharer, Senator Steve Neville, Representative Tom Taylor, Representative James Strickler and Representative Sharon Clahchischilliage to secure an appropriation of $3,819,775.
This appropriation is a positive step forward for the City of Aztec and the East Aztec Arterial Route. City staff is working diligently with our engineering firm to finalize plans for construction to begin once again on this project. These dollars, along with $3,400,000 in federal highway funding through the New Mexico Department of Transportation, ensure that the next phase of the Arterial Route will come to fruition.
However, the project does still lack approximately $3,400,000 in order to be completely funded. We are continuing to work with NM DOT Commissioner Butch Matthews, District 5 DOT Engineer Miguel Gabaldon, and with the office of Governor Suzanna Martinez to secure this additional funding. NM DOT has committed to funding the Arterial project over the next 5 years, but with this appropriation that timeline has been condensed. DOT Engineer Gabaldon has committed their support in finding the funding necessary during the upcoming fiscal year to complete this project.
The City is extremely grateful to Representative Paul Bandy for his work and leadership on this project and for the entire San Juan County delegation for their unified support. Our goal now is to continue working to secure the final funding and to begin breaking ground on this valuable project.
Joshua W. Ray, City Manager
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