Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed capital outlay legislation that includes $89 million for critical water infrastructure projects throughout the state, a key to long-term economic growth in New Mexico. Among other things, money will go toward repairing watersheds damaged by fires and floods, fixing faltering dams, building backup water supplies for cities and towns at risk of going dry and ensuring that communities have access to clean water.
We face some serious challenges in New Mexico with a severe drought and aging water infrastructure. By signing today's legislation, we will begin to allocate money to communities in virtually every corner of our state, helping them meet the unique water challenges we face statewide,‖ Governor Martinez said. ―When we invest in our water infrastructure, we invest in New Mexico's economic future. And that's an investment worth fighting for.
Governor Martinez made the announcement in the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, which will receive $10 million to improve Bradner Dam. The improvements are expected to increase the town's capacity to store water four-fold.
Some of the water projects include:
Money for more than 20 communities -- like Santa Cruz, Gabaldon and Algodones -- to ensure residents have access to clean drinking water.
Funding to help towns -- like Magdalena, Maxwell, and Vaughn --prevent water supply emergencies.
$8.7 million toward watershed restoration efforts; $1.5 for the River Stewards Initiative, ensuring healthy and vibrant river ecosystems around the state.
Repairing dams in communities like Las Vegas, Raton, Ruidoso and Cimarron
Investing in a desalination facility in Alamogordo that could dramatically improve the city's water supply.
Upgrading critical water and wastewater treatment systems in dozens of communities, including a large-scale, necessary project in Chama
Investing in water infrastructure in the Santa Teresa area to provide for the booming economic growth in the region.
Beyond water projects, much of the remaining capital outlay dollars were allocated toward other core infrastructure improvement areas -- including repairs of public school facilities, necessary improvements of our roads and highways, and the construction or repair of public buildings all over New Mexico.
In addition, there is now sufficient funding to complete the southern road to the Spaceport, and $600,000 will be directed toward adding up to four local, federally rated veteran cemeteries in the state.
By approving today's capital outlay budget, we can build cemeteries in areas that have large populations of unserved veterans, making us the first state to adopt this unique approach to a long-standing problem,‖ Governor Martinez said. ―It's the least we can do, given all they have done for us.
The bill also allocates money to complete infrastructure projects designed specifically to recruit new businesses to the state and heavily invests in broadband IT projects to improve the access of schools to the Internet and enhance the public safety network used by law enforcement officers to communicate with one another. Altogether, Governor Martinez authorized funding for $182 million worth of severance tax bond projects and $46 million worth of projects utilizing other funds, while vetoing nearly $2.6 million worth of projects in the bill.