FARMINGTON — Major improvement projects to schools, libraries and senior centers in San Juan County rely on the successful passage on Election Day of $140 million in state general obligation bonds.

Voters will be asked on Nov. 6 to decide on three bond questions — A, B, C — that will have wide ranging consequences to local projects.

Bond Question A

New Mexico Senior Citizen Facility Improvement Bonds

It will authorize the issuance and sale of more than $10 million in general obligation bonds for facility improvements, construction and equipment acquisition projects to benefit the more than 50 senior citizens centers across the state.

San Juan County is the home to five senior centers — Bonnie Dallas, in Farmington; Aztec Senior-Community Center; Bloomfield Senior Center; Blanco Senior Center; and Lower Valley Seniors Center, in Fruitland.

Sandra Yoakum, Financial Manager for Northwest New Mexico Seniors, Inc., estimates that San Juan County would get more than $350,000 if this question is passed.

The improvement with the money would include a variety of projects from adding fitness equipment, money for meals, constructing a building for a kiln, repairing drainage problems and meeting the requirements Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bond Question B

New Mexico Library Acquisition and Construction Bonds supports state libraries, raising $9.


8 million for state, academic, tribal and public libraries, whether for construction or library resources.

Local libraries will see significant gains if approved.

As the largest in the county, Farmington Public Library would receive roughly $155,000, followed by Bloomfield Public Library at $14, 691 and Aztec Public Library in third with just under $13,000. The total distribution amount for San Juan County libraries add up to just more than $474,000.

Farmington Public Library Director Karen McPheeters emphasizes the urgency of voters' approval of the ballot measure in November.

"The $474,000 will make a huge difference in our community," McPheeters said. "Without it, there are critical needs that will simply go unmet — and we serve all of San Juan County with free technology, literacy programs, and resources our community relies on us to provide."

Christopher Shipper, Director of Library Services at San Juan College, said passing Bond Question B would cost local people very little.

"New Mexico Bond B can make a big difference to your community without a significant hit to your wallet. It represents a huge benefit to the city that will come at a barely perceptible cost to the voter."

If the bond sale is approved, academic libraries will join to purchase shared electronic resources, like e-books and databases.

"This would mean that everyone across the state would have access to these resources, providing the largest benefit to students at a lower cost," Schipper said.

San Juan College would receive about $73,000 to assist in purchasing library materials, including books, computers, and other resources.

According to the New Mexico State Board of Finance, the average cost to the owner of a property worth $100,000 over a 10-year period for Bond B will be $0.56 per year.

Bond Question C

New Mexico Higher Education and Special Schools Bonds:

This measure would authorize bonds worth about $120 million to make capital improvements and upgrades of existing buildings to the state's higher education system, including $1.2 million for San Juan College. A similar measure in 2010 failed.

Bond C would be tax-free and job-creating benefit for voters, according to Gayle Dean, executive director of the San Juan College Foundation. The economic gains to the local community would result in the addition of 1,200 jobs statewide for work done for capital improvements by architects, contractors, and other workers.

"Like every homeowner knows," she said, "a point of pride comes from an active care and upkeep of one's home. At SJC, it's our constant endeavor to maintain an optimal learning environment for our students," Dean said.