County's building projects done

-A A +A
By David Giuliani

Over the last decade, San Miguel County has spent millions of dollars improving its buildings or constructing new ones.

Now that those projects are done, the county won’t be spending as much on capital outlay for its facilities in the coming years, County Manager Les Montoya said during the County Commission’s mid-year budget review last week.

He said the county could invest some of its resources on new computers, among other things.

Montoya also said the county could focus on getting funding for a reintegration center, which is proposed by the county jail administration. The idea behind such a center is to provide services to repeat offenders, so as to make them productive members of society. In that way, the county could reduce the number of people returning to the jail, officials say.

During the budget review, Montoya said the county had only a minimal amount of money for capital projects returned back to the state.

Many cities and counties had much money reverted to state coffers as the state tried to eliminate a budget deficit. For instance, the city of Las Vegas had to send back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Montoya said the county was able to show that it had made enough progress on most projects that the money should stay here.

“We had money for three or four projects that was close to be taken,” he said. “But because we had third-party agreements for them, we were able to convince the state we were well on our way... We didn’t take too hard of a whack.”

As part of the review, the county agreed to give $5,000 to the county’s three senior centers and $5,000 to Samaritan House, a group that provides shelter for the homeless during the winter.

County Commissioner Nicolas Leger praised the county’s financial management, especially “given the financial state of this country.”