The Town of Kirtland was incorporated in July 2015 but really has been around since founded by Latter Day Saints (Mormon) settlers in the 1880s. The “lower valley” of the San Juan River was found to be a great place to raise families and crops like alfalfa, corn, squash and fruit. The valley's temperate climate and access to dependable water and good soil made the difference. No surprise that the area grew and prospered.
Named for the town of Kirtland, Ohio, location of the first Mormon temple, the LDS church has played an important role in the development of the town, its schools and small businesses. Also playing a big role is the town’s proximity to the Navajo Nation – the largest Indian reservation in the lower 48 states. Mormon traders and the Navajo have a rich history of working together in commerce and education with several active trading posts and agriculture-related stores in the area with ownership roots back multiple generations. Central Consolidated Schools is a unique blend of Anglo and Indigenous leadership.
To better serve citizens, the Town of Kirtland incorporated to provide more responsive, locally targeted services like the development of parks, zoning and planned growth. Kirtland has 600+ residents and the surrounding unicorporated area is home to another 6,000+ residents. The mayor and town council are all neighbors and they’d love to get to you as neighbors as well.
Living in the Town of Kirtland offers residents the best of small town America.
Kirtland has an 18 hole golf course – Riverview Golf Course – that is easy to play, very affordable, has great views and comes with its own herd of antelope.
Capitalizing on its river location, Kirtland also has Lions Park complete with picnic facility and river access to either launch or take out rafts.
The crown jewel for kids is the new town park and the Kirtland Youth Association (KYA). KYA is one busy place year round for after school activities and for the volunteers with the children and youth. By the way, the KYA youth basketball program is serious business and is the “farm team” for some of the best girl basketball players in New Mexico.
During Monday evenings in the summer between the town hall and KYA, the Kirtland Grower’s market takes shape. Here you’ll find the best of the lower valley produce, meet the grower and learn how they like to roast corn and green chile. Truly a treat.
Fire services are provided by the San Juan County Fire Department. Over a hundred volunteer fire and rescue personnel serve the town from two stations with state-of-the-art equipment using local training facilities. Community engagement is also a hallmark of the fire department whether its Christmas tree lighting or participating in parades.
Police services are provided by the San Juan County Sheriff’s office which has a substation right in the heart of town. The sheriff lives in Kirtland!
Considering a move to Kirtland as a retiree or location neutral worker? You’re going to have a tough decision to make when it comes to housing.
You can choose a very traditional suburban neighborhood like Harper Valley with 100 houses, wide streets and community park. Or, you can own a 100-year old historic farmhouse or your own farm with horses, chickens, sheep and goats.Best of all, land and per-square foot housing costs in Kirtland are among the lowest in San Juan County and property taxes are low as well.
The Town of Kirtland even has its own ambassador! If you’re a location neutral worker, retiree or your company is transferring you to San Juan County, contact Kirtland’s ambassador – Kara Wood at (505) 860-7240. She’ll be glad to visit with you about all Kirtland has to offer. She’s the director of the Kirtland Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Mark Duncan
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