The Los Lunas Village Council gave the green light Thursday for a Home Depot to be built near the Los Lunas High School.
Site work will begin soon, with construction starting during the latter part of July on the 95,000-square-foot store and 24,000-square-foot garden center.
The store will be located at the northeast corner of Main Street (NM 6) and Emilo Lopez Road.
During discussion and voting for approval, Mayor Louis Huning excused himself and passed the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Gerard Saiz during the discussion because of Huning Limited Partnership’s involvement.
Citizens and the village councilors asked about entrances onto the property.
“There will be a customer entrance and a freight entrance off Emilo Lopez and an entrance off Main Street across from Grant Street,” said Ronald Bohannan, president of the development company, Tierra West.
When a concern about traffic onto Main Street was aired, Kevin Eades of Molzen-Corbin & Associates, the village’s engineers, said the Main Street entrance would include a right turn in and right turn out, but would also allow eastbound traffic to turn left into the property.
Priscilla Fernández, assistant superintendent of operations for the Los Lunas School District, asked what type of landscaping and property line fencing would be placed between The Home Depot and the high school.
“There will be a 50-foot engineer drainage area between the properties and a six-foot-high chain link fence between the buffer and the store,” Bohannan said.
A 10-foot landscape buffer will also be on the west and south sides of the property.
Home Depot expects to hire 100 employees. “We will hire from 75 to 90 percent of the employees from the immediate area. The others are seasoned associates who will be transferred in,” said Mandy Holton, corporate spokesperson, from Atlanta, Ga., on Friday.
“A hiring trailer will be on the site a few months before the store opens — probably this fall. We like to have a portion of our employees hired when we take possession of the store after construction, so they can become familiar with the stock while the store is being set up.”
Home Depot expects to open the store in January.
In other action, the council approved:
- The purchase of a new fire truck to replace the one lost in an accident in March. The truck will cost $217,375, which will be funded by a 10-year loan from the New Mexico Finance Authority at a 3.813 percent interest rate.
- Modification of a job description for a utility/public work floater who will also be responsible for backing up personnel in the animal control department. The person does not have to have a commercial driver’s license upon hire, but must obtain one within six months. They will also be trained in animal control procedures by the city.
“At this time, we do not have someone to cover for Jerome Chavez in animal control when he is out. The floater will be able to help in many areas,” said Phillip Jaramillo, village administrator.