Bloomfield's Ten Commandments monument to be moved
November 08, 2017 10:06 PM
BLOOMFIELD, N.M. -- For more than a year, a debate has raged about whether the Ten Commandments monument outside Bloomfield's City Hall should be removed.
This past month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case and left a lower court ruling intact, meaning the monument has to go.
Not even a mile up the road, the Ten Commandments monument will now be relocated to the lawn of the First Baptist Church's recreation center.
"It will be positioned so it faces Route 550 so everybody going through that intersection, either going north or south on 550, should be able to see it," Bloomfield City Manager Eric Strahl said. "That prominent corner would be a nice place to have it."
Digging around the monument's current location outside city hall is already underway, and it has to be removed by Nov. 18.
It remains unclear at this time what amount the city will have to pay out for legal fees of this lengthy courtroom battle. Once that fee is determined by the American Civil Liberties Union, the city could fight in court to have it lowered.
As for the relocation of the monument itself, Strahl insists not a cent of city money will be used for that process.
"It’s the monument group that is paying for it. In fact I think they even set up a good fund me account now to see if they can get donations to help cover that cost," he said.
KOB spoke with residents when the ruling was finalized in October, and many expressed frustration over it. But the relocation to the church does appear to be well received so far with people on Facebook writing, "Best place for it," and "At least it's still in view for all to see."
Moving forward, some have asked whether the removal change what monuments go outside city hall.
"I would assume in the sense that it would, we would have to look at if there is anyway a monument could be conceived as something of a religious nature," Strahl said.
Updated: November 08, 2017 10:06 PM
Created: November 08, 2017 07:49 PM
Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved