LAS CRUCES – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved $28.2 million in capital outlay projects for Doña Ana County as part of a $511 million capital bill this month; and for the first time, the public can see how and where state legislators and the governor directed the public infrastructure dollars under their discretion.
That’s because lawmakers passed a law during this winter’s 60-day legislative session requiring the previously secret funding requests to be published by the Legislative Council Service along with the funded projects, including projects that were vetoed.
Lujan Grisham vetoed a small percentage of projects, including three in Doña Ana County, explaining in a statement that she eliminated projects that were too small (under $10,000), projects “where the proposed recipients have not used capital funds from the current fiscal year,” were not properly planned or otherwise not ready to proceed.
The complete list of projects approved under H.B. 285 is available on the New Mexico Legislature’s website, http://nmlegis.gov. The document includes the amount each lawmakers allocated to the projects, which for brevity is not included here. The document is also embedded at the bottom of this story online.
The list shows lawmakers frequently pooling their resources on local projects, including two lawmakers who do not live in the county but whose districts include part of it: State Rep. Luis Terrazas, R-Silver City, and state Sen. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte.
From northern New Mexico, Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, directed $100,000 of his funds to a youth farmers’ market in Anthony.
Lujan Grisham directed $4.9 million of her own to three projects in the county: a large water project, new facilities for the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority and road improvements in Sunland Park.
Here is a complete list of county projects approved for capital outlay grants, followed by the three projects Lujan Grisham vetoed.
Doña Ana County
- $3.1 million for drainage channels to the Brahman diversion channel, funded by state Rep. Willie Madrid, D-Chaparral, and Reps. Joanne Ferrary, Nathan Small and state Sen. William Soules (all Las Cruces Democrats), along with $2 million of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s own infrastructure funds.
- $1.2 million for a new central office and warehouse facility for the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority, which oversees 11 water systems in the county south of Las Cruces, sponsored by state Sen. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, and Rep. Raymundo Lara, D-Chamberino, with the governor kicking in $950,000.
- $950,000 for handheld and mobile radios for staff, vehicles and fixed locations in the Doña Ana Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, detention centers and county emergency management department, jointly sponsored by state Reps. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla, and Las Cruces Democratic Reps. Doreen Gallegos, Angelica Rubio and Nathan Small, plus Ferrary, and Lara; and state Sens. Carrie Hamblen and Soules, both D-Las Cruces.
- $250,000 for a baseball park and playground equipment in Berino, sponsored by Cervantes and Gallegos.
- $200,000 for an administrative and central operations facility for the Chamberino Mutual Domestic Water Consumers’ and Sewage Association in Chamberino, sponsored by Lara.
- $240,000 for improvements and repairs to wastewater treatment plants and collection systems in the Rincon and Salem service areas, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, with Reps. Small and Terrazas.
- $226,500 for the Vado-Del Cerro community center, sponsored by Diamond, Gallegos and Hamblen.
- $225,000 to acquire rights of way and install lighting, sidewalks and improvements to roads and to a multi-use trail in the county, sponsored by Rubio, Small, Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $200,000 for park improvements including archaeological and environmental studies, accessibility improvements and parking lot and flood control in Hatch, sponsored by Diamond, Small, Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $200,000 for improvements including water systems, facilities, structures and grounds at the county fairgrounds, sponsored by Terrazas and Diamond.
- $150,000 for a community center in Doña Ana County, sponsored by Small, Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $100,000 for wastewater infrastructure, including manholes, sewer lines and flood control structures for the Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association in Picacho Hills, sponsored by Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $200,000 for improvements at the Fort Selden Historic Site in Radium Springs, sponsored by Small and Steinborn.
- $180,000 for road improvements in San Miguel, including Tierra del Sol Drive and Calle de Lucero, sponsored by Lara.
- $90,000 for new passenger vans for the South Central Regional Transit District’s service between Las Cruces and Santa Teresa, sponsored by Hamblen and Rubio.
- $24,000 for repairs and improvements to Casas Lindas Park, sponsored by Lara.
- $151,500 for community center improvements in Anthony, sponsored by Gallegos and Hamblen.
- $70,000 toward the renovation of Adams Park in Anthony, sponsored by Cervantes.
- $100,000 for improvements and pedestrian access to Duffer Lane in Anthony, sponsored by Cervantes.
- $650,000 for public facility construction in Anthony, sponsored by Cervantes and Gallegos.
- $40,000 for public safety equipment, including speed awareness monitors and trailers, in Anthony, sponsored by Cervantes and Hamblen.
- $100,000 for a facility providing wash, sanitation and packing stations and cold storage for a youth farmers’ market in Anthony, sponsored by state Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales.
- $350,000 for improvements to Lisa Drive in Chaparral, sponsored by Madrid.
- $250,000 for improvements at the Delores Wright Community Center in Chaparral, sponsored by Madrid.
- $175,000 for structures and landscaping at Colquitt Park in Chaparral, sponsored by Madrid.
- $400,000 for drainage improvements, including drainage channels, detention ponds and culvert pipe replacements in Doña Ana, sponsored by Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $250,000 for sidewalks, street lighting and roads in Doña Ana sponsored by Small, Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $110,000 for improvements at La Mesa’s community center, including a recreation room and signage, sponsored by Hamblen and Lara.
- $75,000 for improvements at La Mesa’s baseball park, sponsored by Cervantes.
- $100,000 for a solar energy array for La Union Mutual Domestic Sewer and Water Association, sponsored by Lara.
- $50,000 for sidewalk and street improvements in La Union, sponsored by Cervantes.
- $1.3 million for renovations including energy-efficient systems and infrastructure upgrades at the Las Cruces armory, a state appropriation without individual sponsors.
- $1.8 million for storage and distribution facilities at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, sponsored by Lara Cadena, Ferrary, Gallegos, Hamblen, Madrid, Rubio, Soules and Steinborn.
- $425,000 for construction and improvements of El Camino Real Road in Las Cruces, sponsored by Rubio, Small, Steinborn and Terrazas.
- $500,000 for improvements to Carver Road in Las Cruces, sponsored by Hamblen.
- $175,000 for water system improvements, including the extension of a waterline along Stern Drive, for the lower Rio Grande public water works authority, sponsored by Cervantes and Rubio.
- $300,000 for wood shop improvements at Organ Mountain High School in Las Cruces, formerly known as Oñate High School until the Las Cruces Public Schools voted to rename it last August. The name formally takes effect in July. This appropriation was sponsored by Ferrary and Soules.
- $200,000 to conduct environmental and archaeological studies as part of a new building project for the Alto de las Flores Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association, sponsored by Lara.
- $100,000 for roof work at the Las Cruces public…