Gov. Bill Richardson met with local officials on Wednesday and expressed his support and pledged to bring future economic development projects to the area, local officials said Friday in a press release.
Because so many people in the community had come together in support of the Coronado Partners, LLC, proposal to build a race track and casino here, and were unified in efforts for future development, local officials thought it was timely to seek the governor’s assistance, said Patrick Vanderpool, executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp.
“This is very exciting news for all of us. The governor was concerned about the future of Tucumcari and has committed to helping it grow and thrive,” said Vanderpool in the release. “His commitment to the community is strong and this package of local projects will provide significant economic benefits for the community and region.”
The meeting with the governor was held in Albuquerque and was led by Carole Keith, president of the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce, and included Vanderpool, and two other GTEDC officials: vice president Leo Thrasher and board member Jim Lafferty.
Vanderpool said Richardson expressed his support for the following projects:
l A cost-sharing arrangement with a solar manufacturer considering locating in Tucumcari.
The project is expected to bring 70 manufacturing jobs and to be located at the city’s industrial park. The jobs are expected to pay $14 an hour and up, Vanderpool said.
l Multi-million dollars for renovations to downtown Tucumcari.
An expected $4.5 million is being sought to assist in the redevelopment of downtown in coordination with the Tucumcari Main Street project.
l Funds to complete the wind turbine at Mesalands Community College. Mesalands is establishing the North American Wind Research and Training Center and is expected to have its own wind turbine installed in mid-October.
l Funds to construct dormitory facilities at Mesalands.
l Consideration in the placement of major electric transmission lines consistent with the wind resources in Quay County.
Nearby transmission lines are necessary for wind farm expansion in Quay County, said rancher Glenn Briscoe, who is a member of a coalition of landholders who hope to attract future investments in wind farms.
l A review of the designation of US Highway 54 which bypasses Tucumcari’s Main Street
l The creation of a statewide Route 66 Film Festival to be held annually in Tucumcari.
With these kind of projects Tucumcari’s economic development becomes diversified. That diversification gives the area a cushion if an economic sector suffers a downturn, Vanderpool said.