WNMU football, baseball receives state dollars

State lawmakers representing districts in Grant County spied on the capital allocation they secured this year to governments and organizations during a working session of the Grant County Commission on Tuesday.

District 39 first year rep. Luis Terrazas listed several grants that would benefit Grant County, two of which were vetoed by the government. Michelle Lujan Grisham in recent years: $ 82,700 to the NM Economic Development Department “for a bike ride in Silver City,” ie Tour of the Gila; and a $ 150,000 grant to Western New Mexico University “for athletics programs,” money to be used to develop women’s soccer and men’s baseball, as well as to fund other athletics needs.

And because the legislation uses “generic language” in Bill 377 in the Senate, District 38 shows state ropes. Rebecca Dow noted that the athletics funding for WNMU will return.

“Thanks to our wonderful Legislative Delegation,” WNMU President Joseph Shepard told the Daily Press that the $ 150,000 in annual athletics program funding will “help even out” a funding gap between WNMU and Eastern New Mexico University and Highlands University – both of which are coming far more each year than Western for their athletics programs.

“What we had asked for was extra money for a new scoreboard for the football field,” which can also be used for football games, Shepard said, noting that “upgrading” the scoreboard for football and women’s soccer with a separate, one-time $ 100,000 capital outlay was top notch priority.

“At the same time, we will continue to look at coaches already this year for women’s football,” said Shepard. “If we succeed in our registration goals, we will start with the baseball program.

“The beauty of this [being a recurring appropriation] is that we start collecting to take the existing softball court and turn it back into a baseball court, Shepard added. “It will take time. We take the existing softball program and build where Regents Row and Eckles Hall used to be. First, Regents Row must be demolished. ”

District 28 State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill confirmed to the Daily Press that the funding of the “Silver City bike ride” will also be an annual grant.

“This is what we have been waiting for, thanks to Siah – and really the three legislators working together,” said Jack Brennan, Tour of the Gila race director. “We talked about this, about getting some funding through the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division, and basically the director, Axie Navas, said, ‘If you can put the money in my budget, I can support you.’ “

“I’m very happy,” Brennan continued. “We plan to have two Tour of the Gilas this fiscal year. It is an autumn date this year, September 29 to October 3, and then we hope to return to the spring date as well. ”

The fresh dollars can, among other things, help Brennan pay for the race’s officials, housing, marketing and emergency services, and is intended to help draw visitors from outside the area, while benefiting locals and the economy.

“The outdoor recreation division was just what we needed,” Brennan said. “The larger Gila area is what we need to market and market – and the center of Silver, the restaurants, culture and events – but it all starts with Gila. It’s our bread and butter. ”

Other grants included in Senate Act 377, along with the WNMU and Tour of the Gila Funds, include a $ 50,000 grant to Grant County “to design and construct a veteran memorial,” $ 65,000 “for hiking projects,” as well as $ 50,000 that was Granted to the Community Partnership for Children through the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments.

In addition to previously reported articles with big tickets such as the $ 200 million grant for Gila Regional Medical Center’s new work and delivery unit and $ 1.4 million for improvements on the Fort Bayard campus, Lujan Grisham awarded $ 300,000 to Santa Clara for “Copper Trail Pedestrian “and Bicycle Path” Improvements and $ 600,000 to the Southwest Solid Waste Authority for an important project that will eventually see the landfill expanded to its final capacity.

Lujan Grisham also allocated $ 500,000 to Silver City for the plan to transform the historic Waterworks building on Little Walnut Road into a Continental Divide Trail road station, and the city also received $ 96,191 for a “renovation of the senior center.”

Lujan Grisham, Terrazas and Correa Hemphill allocated a total of $ 450,000 to the town of Bayard for upgrades to their public security building, while Correa Hemphill, Dow and Terrazas collectively earmarked $ 175,000 to Grant County for “improvements to the fairgrounds.”

Correa Hemphill allocated $ 75,000 for improvements to Bayard’s recreational facilities, and Terrazas and Correa Hemphill each allocated $ 50,000 to a study to determine what behavioral health and detoxification services are needed in Grant County.

Terrazas and Correa Hemphill also awarded a total of $ 86,000 to Hurley for their besieged water supply project and a total of $ 150,000 for “Hurley Recreation Improvements.”

Dow awarded $ 100,000 to “WNMU Parking Improvements” and, along with Correa Hemphill, awarded a total of $ 135,000 to “Gila Community Center and Park Improvements.”

Terrazas awarded $ 28,000 to Santa Clara for work on the historic Fort Bayard Theater, and $ 25,000 to Santa Clara for “water system improvements.”

“It was a good year for the legislators” in collaboration, Lieutenant Gov. Howie Morales told the Daily Press. “And that has always been the case. Tommy Foy, Murray Ryan, Benny Altamirano, Dianne Hamilton, Rudy Martinez and Gabriel Ramos: It has historically been a time when party affiliation has been set aside and legislators work together to improve society – and these legislators kept that spirit. ”

Geoffrey Plant can be reached at [email protected]

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