Monday, November 16, 2015

County courts Pegasus project

Years of cooperation between multiple state and local agencies may lead to ground breaking on a project that could push Luna County into the forefront of advances in various technologies. The story of Luna County being selected as the site for the potential Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation is not short or simple. After pulling consideration for the project out of Hobbs, NM in 2012, mainly due to land issues, the former Luna County manager, Kelly Kuenstler, decided to approach Pegasus Global Holdings, the project developer. Luna County had originally missed out on the first request for proposals put out by the developer, but saw opportunity when the project failed to take root in Eastern New Mexico. In July 2012, the county wrote Pegasus indicating the county’s interest in being considered for the project, which could cost upwards of $1 billion. That letter began a push by Luna County to aggressively court the project for its potential economic impact on the county and region. Shortly after the county began pursuing the project, a local stakeholder group was formed with county employees and volunteers from the Office of the State Engineer, State Land Office, New Mexico Department of Transportation and local utilities to help make the pitch for the CITE. The developer projects approximately 350 economic base jobs — that is, jobs funded by money flowing from outside the community — and about 3,500 supporting jobs will be created once the CITE is operational. After it is built, the CITE would act as a ghost town mimicking urban, suburban and rural sections of a town designed for a population of 35,000 to be used for testing and evaluating new technologies...more

Two cities, Las Cruces and Deming, just 70 miles apart, but oh what a difference.  The only reason Pegasus was looking at Hobbs was because the Las Cruces mayor & city council would rather appease the progressive-enviros with a National Monument than court real development.

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