Gov. Susana Martinez
SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that seven rural communities in New Mexico have been awarded technical assistance and services from the newly-created Frontier Communities Initiative.
Signed into law by Martinez in April, the initiative is a community economic development partnership coordinated through the Economic Development Department’s MainStreet Program. The following communities were selected to receive assistance from the Frontier Communities Initiative:
- Historic Route 66 (Moriarity section);
- Santa Clara; and
- Wagon Mound.
“This program will strengthen some of our treasured historic communities in New Mexico by creating economic development projects in the heart of some of our most treasured historic rural communities in New Mexico,” Martinez said. “With this start, we are confident that these communities will be able to attract more business interest for their areas. We are looking forward to reaping the benefits of this outstanding program.”
“Rural economic development is very important to Governor Martinez and my department and we were pleased to see the interest in an expanded community economic development program through MainStreet,” Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said. “The Frontier Communities Initiative will help strengthen local economies, especially in our rural towns and villages, where it is critical to sustain and create new jobs.”
The Frontier Communities Initiative is tailored to historic and traditional commercial centers in communities under 7,500 in population and not currently a MainStreet or Arts and Cultural District Program.
The initiative is intended to provide technical support for communities to develop a catalytic economic development project within a traditional or historic commercial district such as a court house square or village plaza.
“We have taken the successful comprehensive Main Street Four Point Approach® scaling it to meet an individual economic development project rather than an entire district,” Rich Williams, director of New Mexico MainStreet said. “Professional technical consultants from New Mexico MainStreet will work in the field with local community partners on each project in the coming months.”
Sixteen communities applied through a competitive application process in partnership with their county, Council of Government (COG) or municipality. The application required a community to identify one catalytic economic development project to enhance the commercial district.
Below is a list of the economic development project the community received assistance for:
- Carrizozo – Branding and image development of their historic village commercial center.
- Columbus – Restoration of the gazebo on the historic village plaza.
- Hurley – Streetscape in their historic commercial town corridor.
- Madrid – Business and Entrepreneur development for the historic village core.
- Historic Route 66 (Moriarty section) – Design pedestrian safety and infrastructure improvements.
- Santa Clara – “Wayfinding” and image development for the historic village center.
- Wagon Mound – Facade improvements in the historic village.
Another round of community selection and awards is dependent on legislative funding.