New Mexico Department of Economic Development Awards City of Taos Grant for Airport Industrial Park Investments


Taos Regional Airport. Courtesy/EDD

EDD News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Economic Development (EDD) has awarded its third LEDA Rural Infrastructure Grant to the City of Taos for investments in the airport industrial park that will help attract new businesses and better serve passengers, EDD Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced Thursday.

The Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) awards fall under the recently granted ESD authority to help rural communities make significant infrastructure improvements that can boost jobs and increase the economic capacity.

The deal is pending local government approval and would provide up to $1.7 million from EDD for an extension of water supply at Taos Regional Airport.

Secretary Keyes said the new 20-year statewide strategic plan specifically addresses urban-rural inequalities — gaps that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rural communities have fewer project-ready locations, which puts them at a disadvantage when competing for commercial development projects,” Keyes said. “This inequity is what led Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to expand the LEDA and focus on rural infrastructure to level the playing field for small communities. This will remain a key objective for our department.

Moriarty Municipal Airport received a $283,000 grant in 2020 and was the first to benefit from the new initiative to better help communities improve public industrial properties and attract business development. Last month, the city of Clovis received a $2.13 million LEDA grant to extend a municipal water line to service its airport, which serves residents as well as Airmen and families at Cannon Air Force Base.

For Taos, the new infrastructure will allow light manufacturing and distribution businesses to grow, accommodate aviation-related services, and enable the community to expand its presence in alternative energy services, cinema and of technology.

The airport improvements will also allow for better emergency response with greater capacity to transport and treat critically ill patients and organize emergency medical personnel if needed, which was a concern during the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

“Funding to support small airports provides strategic economic assistance to the region,” said New Mexico State Senator Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales. “Economic development is an avenue to create jobs and support community businesses. The state’s LEDA funding at Taos Airport is an example of building a stronger, more sustainable economy for the Taos area and all of New Mexico.

“This award is an important step in helping our region diversify and strengthen our economy with new, well-paying career jobs and new, clean industries that we have been unable to compete for until now,” the mayor said. city ​​of Taos, Daniel R. Barone. “The city has already received proposals for more than 440,000 square feet of retail space and 510 new positions over the next three years as part of this project. Our thanks to Cabinet Secretary Keyes, her staff, and the Governor for their hard work and continued support of our community, the state, and our shared vision of better jobs for all citizens.

The Taos Airport project includes a 6.5 mile water transmission line extension as well as a pump station and several easements. The city will contribute $600,000 and received a $2 million CARES Act grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help defray the costs of the project.


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