Nearly a dozen tribal communities in New Mexico will be receiving a combined $14 million in state funding for a series of long-needed infrastructure projects.
The funding has been approved by the Tribal Infrastructure Fund Board, which is run by the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department.
Among the largest projects:
The Jicarilla Apache Nation will be receiving nearly $2 million for the construction of the Cutter Lateral Intertie Water Supply in Rio Arriba County.
The Pueblo of San Ildefonso in Santa Fe County is slated for $1.9 million to build the second phase of a waste water system.
Another $1.9 million will go to the Pueblo of Isleta for three separate road projects in Valencia County; while the Pueblo of Santa Clara will get $1.8 million for water and wastewater improvements.
In a statement New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the projects to be funded are “absolutely essential and, in some cases, long overdue.”
The Governor added that “hundreds of families across New Mexico’s tribal communities will benefit from these investments.”
The Tribal Infrastructure Fund Board came about as the result of the Tribal Infrastructure Act. The board is tasked with evaluating proposed infrastructure projects in tribal communities across New Mexico.
When Tribal Infrastructure Act was passed by New Mexico lawmakers in 2005, an analysis of the measure by the Legislative Finance Committee noted that “poor infrastructure on tribal lands has contributed to a lack of economic development, uncertain health conditions, and social maladies.”
Additional projects just announced for funding include more than $1.8 million for a series of Navajo Nation chapter initiatives, including the building of a new Head Start facility and the design of a new water system in McKinley County, along with water system upgrades in Bernalillo County.
By Garry Boulard
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