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Source : New Mexico Department of Transportation
April 25, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
“This budget is responsible and responsive to the needs of New Mexicans right now and in the future,” Democratic Governor Lujan Grisham said.
“This legislative season has been a remarkable success for New Mexicans in every corner of our state – with almost a billion dollars in new targeted pandemic relief for businesses and workers and more, with groundbreaking new initiatives in economic development and health care and environmental protection, and with, finally, a solid and sustainable budget that maintains and increases funding for key programs that benefit children and families and workers while ensuring our reserves remain robust and healthy,” she added.
The budget includes a $30.7 million increase for the Human Services Department, $17.5 million for projects through the Local Economic Development Act, and $7 million to restore the state’s tourism sector in addition to the $300 million for roadway infrastructure and improvements.
According to the Associated Press, $87 million of the infrastructure funding was set aside by lawmakers for projects across the southeastern part of the state.
“The approved budget and legislation will have an enormous impact on road safety advancements in southeastern New Mexico,” CEO of the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP), Tracee Bentley said. “The projects supported through this funding will allow for direct action to improve priority roads projects in local communities, as well as help expedite work already underway on state roadways.”
PSP consists of 17 “leading Permian Basin energy companies who joined together to work in partnership with leaders across the region’s communities to address current and future challenges to the responsible development of the vast oil and natural gas resources of the Permian Basin in the states of New Mexico and Texas.”
Permian Basin map via Wikimedia Commons.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Owing to its economic importance, [thePermian Basin] is one of the most well-studied geologic regions of the world” with its rich petroleum, natural gas and potassium deposits.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said that “the oil and gas activity in Eddy and Lea County is vital to the entire state, but the need to address road repair is continual. We look forward to working with PSP to address this ongoing vital safety issue.” The mayor was particularly excited at the prospect of constructing a loop road around the city.
In early February of this year, a $4.75 million contract was awarded to Constructors Inc to carry out the first phase of the project, according to local media. The total cost of the first two phases is projected to be $12 million.