Grants Mayor Martin Hicks told a legislative interim committee last summer that the only remaining coal mine had laid off 150 people, the population has dropped to 8,500 from 18,500 when he was growing up in the town, and there are 22 empty buildings on the main drag.
But Cibola County has some possibilities in tourism and logging.
On the East Side, tiny Anton Chico has an old school building with a functional gym and kitchen that could be used to house small businesses. And the economic development group would like to take over a meat processing company, but the processor’s building is held by the bank. The organization needs help to enter e-commerce and find markets for area farm products.
All either town needs from the state is a little help – money and knowhow.
And so it goes.
We may continue to dogpaddle in the economic toilet bowl, but in pretty much any community in the state, there are possibilities. And, surprisingly, hope.
So what do we hear from our leaders?
The state’s chief executive offers a package of get-tough DWI bills. And in testy language, she defended her budget and picked a fight with the Legislative Finance Committee over their budget.