July 21, 2023

NM to get $40 million for infrastructure, affordable housing and fighting the fentanyl epidemic

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed three appropriations bills Thursday that would bring nearly $40 million for 25 local projects to New Mexico.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy, and Water Development Appropriations bill, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill and the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to directly advocate for local projects that deliver for New Mexicans through our annual government funding legislation,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, said in a news release. “These three bipartisan bills will deliver substantial and strategic investments to improve New Mexico’s water and wastewater infrastructure, scale our deployment of clean energy and decarbonization technologies, build more efficient and affordable homes, construct safer roads and transportation networks, and fight the fentanyl epidemic.”

Congressionally directed spending

Heinrich had funding for the following nine local projects included in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill:

  • $6,750,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct irrigation infrastructure that is part of acequia systems in New Mexico. Acequias are vital to the agricultural heritage and economy of New Mexico and help keep critically valuable groundwater and surface water resources in balance.
  • $1,200,000 for New Mexico State University to develop a cybersecurity training and testing center to analyze the security of energy infrastructure and technologies.
  • $644,000 for the University of New Mexico to develop and demonstrate novel cybersecurity controls and a workforce training program for community microgrid applications.
  • $260,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan for the removal of jetty jacks in the Albuquerque area of the Rio Grande.
  • $200,000 for New Mexico State University to partner with Jemez Pueblo to study the processing of wood wastes from forest fire burn scar sites and lumber mills to produce biochar, which can be used as feedstock for district heating, soil additives for carbon sequestration, and adsorbents for water treatment.
  • $128,000 for Mesalands Community College to develop and demonstrate a renewable heating technology to decarbonize high-temperature industrial foundry processes.
  • $80,000 for the Jicarilla Apache Nation to study opportunities to support the Tribe’s economic development, energy transition, and decarbonization goals. Additionally, Senators Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján successfully included funding in the bill for the following 2 projects:
  • $1,720,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection projects in communities around New Mexico, which may include projects related to wastewater treatment, water supply, environmental restoration, and surface water resource protection and development.
  • $500,000 for the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to transform the Chevron Mine Facility into a green hydrogen production site, providing reliable nighttime renewable energy for members and creating jobs for the Village of Questa.

Senator Heinrich had funding included for the following 12 local projects in the Senate Transportation and Housing Appropriations bill:

  • $4,300,000 for the City of Truth or Consequences to replace aged and damaged waterlines, valves, and hydrants.
  • $4,000,000 for Bernalillo County to reconstruct Atrisco Vista Boulevard on the West Side of Albuquerque, helping to expand job and housing options for residents.
  • $3,000,000 for the City of Albuquerque to continue development of a Homeless Youth Center to provide a safe, transitional environment for homeless and unstably housed youth.
  • $3,000,000 for the City of Las Cruces to design, construct, and furnish a response station to house both its Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Project LIGHT (Lessen the Incidence of Grief, Harm, and Trauma) programs.
  • $2,500,000 for the City of Albuquerque to develop a police substation in southwest Albuquerque to improve public safety service delivery in the area.
  • $2,000,000 for Navajo Preparatory School to develop a Community Wellness and Cultural Complex to support academics, extracurricular activities like sports, language, and culture for students, faculty, staff, and communities on the Navajo Nation.
  • $1,800,000 for the Town of Taos to complete the buildout of 72 vacant lots in the Chamisa Verde Housing Project to provide below-market housing options to working families.
  • $1,200,000 for the City of Farmington to create the first fully inclusive, accessible, and adaptive park in the Four Corners region.
  • $1,100,000 for Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity to develop land into a mixed-income development focused on 25 to 30 affordable housing units for low-income families.
  • $1,000,000 for the Pueblo of Jemez to complete removal of condemned and hazardous buildings to enable new and expanded community development projects and programs.
  • $200,000 for the Southwest Regional Housing and Community Development Corporation to complete the construction of five homes for very low-income families located in a Department of Housing and Urban Development-Designated Colonia.
  • $180,000 for the North Central Regional Transit District to purchase a bus for public transportation between Mora and Las Vegas. 

Also, Heinrich and Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico, had funding included in the bill for the following four projects:

  • $2,000,000 for the Santo Domingo Pueblo to plan, design, repair, and construct over 200 tribal houses within the traditional village.
  • $1,600,000 for Union and Colfax Counties to plan for the improvement of U.S. Route 87/64 to increase economic development in the area following the route’s designation as a future interstate highway as part of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
  • $338,000 for the Town of Silver City to develop lots and infrastructure in the Vistas de Plata subdivision to ensure affordable housing availability in Silver City.
  • $283,000 for the Family YMCA to enhance youth substance use prevention services and programming at the teen center in Española.