BLOOMFIELD — Plans to secure state funding to beautify the Highway 64 concrete corridor will be discussed at Monday's city council meeting.

Councilors will hear from City Manager David Fuqua on funding for landscaping and irrigation of the medians and right-of-ways along the roadway.

Fuqua said irrigating the landscaping would be relatively cheap since water could be sourced from the city's sewer plant.

"The water is free and high quality," he said. "It would be a good deal for citizens because the only expense would be the electricity to pump it through irrigation lines."

Funding for the project, if approved by Gov. Susana Martinez, would be a one-time-only amount made possible by capital outlay funds.

Senator Steve Neville, who represents San Juan County, will co-author a capital-outlay bill with county legislators to secure funding for local projects, including Bloomfield beautification. The legislative session ends on March 16, at which time the governor has twenty days to approve or veto the bill.

"Funds are going to be tight but oil prices have helped somewhat to improve the state's revenues," Neville said. "Outlay funding is used for statewide projects, so there's competition for the money."

Neville said the New Mexico Department of Transportation construction along Highway 64 essentially created a large, wider concrete slab through town that is lacking in aesthetic appeal.

Neville intervened on behalf of the city to get the medians put in place.


He hopes the legislature can draft a bill that will enhance the visual appeal of the roadway.

"The state has many large projects — highway improvements, police cars, leaky roofs — that tend to swallow up the majority of the money, which is essentially obtained like an earmark process," Neville said. "But I will be working on securing the funds for Bloomfield because even smaller projects matter."

Neville said the outlay funds for this legislative session total around $250 million.

City council meets Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 915 N. First St.