Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


Commission Approves Two Million Dollar Pre-Payment to Guzman


Aztec City Commissioners approved a $2 million prepayment to Guzman Energy at their regular meeting on May 23. They also approved their preliminary FY 2018 budget and voted 4-0 to approve a zone change.

With the prepayment of power to Guzman, city staff will be able to purchase power from Guzman at a reduced rate, or purchase available hydropower (AHP) or Western Replacement Power (WRP) for the market price, which is historically much lower than purchasing from Guzman.

According to the staff summary prepared by Ken George, Electric Director, “The worst case scenario would reflect a loss of $21,000 over the six year period; best case projects a gain of $891,359 in addition to recovering the full prepayment [$2 million] over a six year period.”

The preliminary budget must be submitted to the State Department of Finance by June 1. Commissioners all acknowledged that there may be some changes to the budget, depending on what happens in the State Legislature’s special session. The city has also received requests from three organizations in Aztec for funds, but commissioners decided to delay the approval of those requests until the budget is finalized.

The zone change was for property located near the Microtel Hotel, at the intersection of US Hwy. 550 and Pepsi Way. Owner of the property, Sam Blue, requested the zone change from A-1 Agricultural to M-1 Light Manufacturing, so that Mosaic Academy can construct a school at the site. One person who owns property near the proposed building site was concerned about water runoff and drainage, but he was reassured those issues would be addressed in the construction plans. A representative of the City of Farmington Electric Department, said there is an electric substation just to the south of the property which has been there since 1958, which he wanted everyone to be aware of, just in case problems or complaints arise at a later time.

The zone change was approved with several conditions: Rendering plants and slaughter houses, which are normally allowed in the M-1 zoning, would be prohibited from doing business next to the school; Special Manufacturing of paints, asphalt, and other similar activities would also be prohibited; dumpsters and solid waste receptacles need to be enclosed and not in view of residential properties; and the school, which built, would have to adhere to lighting practices and minimize light pollution.

Commissioners continued the discussion of utility rates, and are still looking for ways to keep the increases in rates to a minimum. They have proposed moving several large projects out for two years in the hopes of an improved economy, and also discussed lowering the amount of money kept in reserves. Both of those ideas could potentially reduce the amount that utility bills will go up.

City staff and commissioners also recognized the AHS Girls Softball Team for winning the State Championship; and recognized Karen Lozier’s retirement from the library after 27 years of service.


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