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McKinley County becomes fiscal agent for Cibola County trails project

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The recreational trails grant for Cibola County was one of the items discussed at the McKinley County Board of Commissioners meeting Aug. 7.

The program is ran by the New Mexico Department of Transportation and provides federal funding for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized trail uses such as hiking, bicycling, and off-highway vehicles.

Kate Fletcher, Cibola County manager, was at the meeting to ask the commission to become the county’s fiscal agent and adopt a memorandum of agreement stating so.

Fletcher said that neighboring counties have worked with Cibola County on projects for trails, such as the Zuni Mountain Trails Project.

This is a project at least 10 years in the making, Fletcher said.

McKinley County Attorney Doug Decker spoke about working with Cibola County every step of the way on the various trail projects, and that they have made great strides in getting their financial state in order.

“[We can] lend our expertise as they work through it,” Decker said during the meeting.

Fletcher said that she wants both countries to keep moving and working together, and that they have taken the necessary steps to begin this collaboration. Namely, she said that the 5 percent fiscal fee has already been budgeted on their end.

“[The] five [county] commissioners are all working hard, and have been working for years,” Fletcher said.

McKinley County Chairperson Genevieve Jackson praised the plan, and said that it is wonderful that Cibola County is willing to ask for a working relationship.

The item was approved with a 3-0-0 vote.

Fletcher was contacted by phone about the reason why Cibola County wanted to pass the fiscal baton to McKinley, and the budgeted amount for their trail system, but didn’t return calls as of press time.

By Cody Begaye

Sun Correspondent

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