Steve Stone Graphic
Governments and schools in Chaves County expect to get nearly $7.2 million in capital outlay funds recently approved by the Legislature to help with a number [auth] of agencies, projects and improvements.
The funding has not yet received the final stamp of approval by Gov. Susana Martinez, who has until March 12 to sign the requests.
But the expected funds would pay for a number of improvements and projects throughout the region in the next fiscal year.
Roswell is expected to receive $1.2 million that would help fix the aging roof and heating and cooling system at the Yucca Recreation Center, and fund improvements at the new veterans cemetery.
The city was also granted funds by the Legislature to pay for J.O.Y. Center improvements and equipment, sports park bathrooms and park playground equipment.
“The city is very appreciative of the efforts of the area legislators to work in this area,” said City Manager Larry Fry. “These additional funds will help us a great deal as we look at trying to meet the needs of the community.”
Chaves County received $579,000 to pay for five requests.
The county’s top priority, the first phase of a reconstruction of Hobson Road, was not granted the full request of $500,000. Hobson Road serves as a key farm-to-market route for the county and needs to be rebuilt.
The road project was granted $200,000, which will still allow the county to begin a drainage study, said County Manager Stan Riggs.
“That’s our biggest problem with the road, is the drainage,” Riggs said. “We want to do a permanent solution on Hobson to get the water off the road. It’s an important road in Chaves County.”
Other projects were given what was requested and additional funding.
The county was granted $101,000 to begin purchasing trash compactors in its first year of a five-phase project to address illegal dumping.
East Grand Plains Volunteer Fire Department was given $120,000 for extrication tools, though the district only requested $60,000. Midway Fire received $75,000 to purchase two command vehicles.
The Southeast New Mexico Veterans Transportation Network asked for $174,000 to purchase new vans and was given $199,000. The county acted as a fiscal agent for the non-profit by requesting the money.
“We’re very happy with the projects that were funded,” said Charlotte Andrade, community development director. “We are remaining optimistic as we move forward with the other projects. We have to look for other funding opportunities.”
This year, the county took a lead in trying to unite the community in its requests for capital outlay funding in an effort to strengthen the region.
County Commissioner Greg Nibert, then chairman, spearheaded the effort. He discussed with state Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Dist. 59, ways the community could coordinate priorities.
An effort was made to bring governmental entities together to discuss community capital outlay priorities, similar to the way Lea County approaches the process, Nibert said.
Several representatives from county governments, schools and other agencies met, but not all. Everybody in attendance thought it was a good idea for Chaves County, Nibert said.
“Although it was our first effort, I can’t say it met with great success, ultimately,” Nibert said. “But at least it was a step in the right direction. So, maybe this year, we’ll have it more refined and have more teeth in it. I think our effort was a step in the right direction.”
New Mexico Military Institute was awarded $4.8 million for its Marshall Hall renovations and another $153,000 for artificial turn for its baseball field.
The City of Hagerman was granted $50,000 for a building demolition project and $100,000 for a water storage tank. The city also received approval for $84,000 for improvements to its Fambrough water system.
Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell was allocated $146,000 for its Health Science Center simulators request and $150,000 for welding and auto mechanics equipment.
Capital projects designated for funds
The capital projects designated for funding in the fiscal year 2015 must be enacted into law by Gov. Susana Martinez. Martinez has until March 12 to sign the bill, and has the authority to line-item veto specific projects in the bill.
City of Roswell
• Eastside Little League Baseball bathroom and concessions: $75,000
• Joe Bauman Stadium bathrooms and roof: $75,000
• Parks playground equipment: $25,000
• Veterans cemetery: $250,000
• Yucca Recreation Center roof and HVAC: $500,000
• J.O.Y. Center equipment: $4,010
• J.O.Y. Center improvements: $67,240
• J.O.Y. Center Meals equipment: $11,200
• Hagerman building demolition: $50,000
• Water storage tank: $100,000
• Fambrough MDWCA Water System improvements: $84,000
• Compactors: $101,000
• East Grand Plains Volunteer Fire Department Tools: $120,000
• Midway Volunteer Fire Department Vehicles: $75,000
• Veterans Transportation Vans: $199,000
• Hobson Road Improvements: $200,000
• Health Science Center simulators: $146,000
• Welding/Auto mechanics equipment: $150,000
• Marshall Hall renovations: $4.8 million
• Baseball Field artificial turf: $153,200