$500K mountain bike park on the ballot in Farmington

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — A $7 million dollar bond issue, if passed, would allow San Juan College to fund four separate projects. One of those projects is generating some buzz in the mountain biking community.

On the edge of the college campus sits 130 acres of rugged terrain. It also happens to be in the heart of Farmington.

“It’s a space that we have no other plans to develop, it’s kind of set away from the campus, it’s not something we would be building buildings on, not in the near future or distant future,” said Edward DesPlas, the executive vice president of San Juan College.

Instead, there are plans to take advantage of those hills, if a local bond issue is approved. San Juan College would use $500,000 to improve the already existing mountain bike trails by building the first “pump track” in the Four Corners.

“It’s a big skills-building track that has up and downs and kind of bowls for the bikers to ride around in, it’s a very popular feature to the world’s best mountain bike parks and we are looking to find our way into the lineup of the best parks,” DesPlas said.

The park would be safer than biking in the mountains.

“It is safe because if somebody were to get injured, fall off their bike get bruised up – help is within minutes away, doesn’t have to be miles outside of the city,” DesPlas added.

Being so close to the city also excites local mountain bike enthusiasts, for another reason.

“Anytime I’ve seen any kind of mecca explode – Durango, Sedona, Telluride – it’s usually based around an in-town trail system so where people can just ride from their house get off work get their stuff go ride from their front door,” said Christopher Martinez, owner of Sandstone Cycles.

DesPlas says if voters approve, bonds could be issued in March 2023, and design and construction would follow in summer 2023.

College officials also said approving these bond issues would not change the local property tax rate.