A homebuilding industry group based in Santa Fe has issued a statement emphasizing the continuing role to be played by builders and contractors during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a press release, the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association is maintaining that despite the current health crisis represented by the virus, builders are still going to be needed to “address electrical problems that have the potential to cause fire or electrocution.”
The non-profit trade group also says that builders may be essential to “speedily fix waste water and sewer problems,” preventing future contamination problems.
The SFAHBA had earlier successfully asked New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to categorize the construction industry as an essential service that should be “continued during this time in support of our state’s resiliency efforts and economic sustainability.”
That communication was supported by the New Mexico Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors as well as the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Mexico, among other groups.
The SFAHBA statement noted that the construction industry is for the present on the “front lines of this crisis—we support hospitals and health care facilities, we support education facilities, we support the transportation system, and we support first responders.”
The group additionally has argued that permit and inspection personnel at all levels should be kept available to “keep these systems operational.”
The SFAHBA statement comes on the heels of a declaration issued on March 23 by New Mexico Secretary of Health Kathyleen Kunkel, who, in part, directed that all non-essential businesses should reduce their in-person workforce by 100 percent.
Essential businesses, continued Kunkel, “May be open, provided they minimize their operations and staff to the greatest extent possible.”
In its press release, the SFAHBA also noted that the construction industry is needed to “ensure heating for residential, commercial, or local government facilities,” while also guaranteeing the “safe, sanitary delivery of water.”
In exempting the construction industry from her COVID-19 restrictions order, Lujan Grisham also exempted gas stations, banks, and logistics companies, among other services. The Governor’s order will remain in effect until April 10.
By Garry Boulard