2018 State Legislature: Regional Air Center economic district bill passes House

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Senate hearing on parallel bill expected today

The New Mexico House of Representatives approved House Bill 197 Thursday, a plan developed by Roswell-area legislators to allow local governments to create industrial air center special economic districts. 

The bill passed 64-3.

The bill is sponsored by Reps. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell), Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), James Townsend (R-Artesia) and Greg Nibert (R-Roswell).

HB 197 allows municipalities to partner with their home counties to form industrial air center special economic districts. These districts would manage the operations of the special economic district, have the power to issue revenue bonds and make any facility improvements necessary to attract business tenants.   

“The regional air center economic districts proposed by this bill would be dedicated to the development of abandoned military bases,” Ezzell said. “Converting these sites to productive use will stimulate economic activity in our communities. It is especially important for the City of Roswell and Chaves County to take advantage of the assets left at the old Walker Air Force Base.” 

HB 197 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.  

A parallel measure, Senate Bill 180, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Portales) and Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) will have its first committee hearing when it is presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee today.