Rural Infrastructure Grant Awarded to McKinley County

4 Apr 2022

Industrial park development set to create 300 jobs

SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) has awarded economic assistance from the Rural LEDA Infrastructure Fund to McKinley County, to support the extension of utilities to a planned industrial park, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

EDD has committed $4 million from the State of New Mexico’s LEDA job-creation fund to the McKinley County Industrial Park as part of a statewide effort to hasten the expansion of infrastructure in rural communities.

The future industrial park will sit on a 40-acre, master-planned industrial development, located directly north of Gallup.

The rural LEDA infrastructure grant is the fifth of its kind under an EDD initiative, backed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, to provide more economic assistance to rural communities. Rural areas in New Mexico do not have the same tax resources as larger cities and often require extra help to prepare publicly-owned sites so they can be more competitive and shovel ready as businesses scout locations to relocate or expand.

“McKinley County’s economy is undergoing a transition,” EDD Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “Manufacturing and logistics are set to be new employment sectors and this investment sets the stage for businesses to expand or relocate in McKinley County and create jobs there. The state support for the McKinley County Industrial Park will accelerate these efforts.” 

"McKinley County has been adversely impacted by the closure of Tri-State Generating Station and Marathon Petroleum, which caused a loss of approximately 200 jobs. In addition to the job loss created by the closing of these two companies, we have also suffered a loss of property tax revenue, as Tri-State and Marathon were two of the top three taxpayers in McKinley County," said McKinley County Manager Anthony Dimas. "The economic assistance, supported by Gov. Lujan Grisham and Cabinet Secretary Keyes through the Rural LEDA Infrastructure Fund, will enable us to jump start our Industrial Park Project and eventually bring jobs back to McKinley County."

The Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation, the area's non-profit economic development organization, is providing technical assistance for the project.

"State LEDA funds committed to this project represent a terrific opportunity to grow jobs in Gallup and McKinley County by helping to finalize development of the McKinley County Industrial Park. This funding will open the door for the County to recruit new industrial companies to Gallup and will also create needed space for expanding existing manufacturing,” Executive Director of Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation Patricia Lundstrom said. “ Having a shovel-ready site with all critical infrastructure in place will give GGEDC a great advantage in recruiting companies with well-paying jobs to McKinley County."

The industrial park is the only shovel-ready site for industrial development in McKinley County. Phase I development calls for 12 acres to be developed. The project will be serviced by Gallup Joint Utilities (water and wastewater), Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (Electric), and NM Gas Company (Natural Gas).

The McKinley Industrial Park represents the first commercial development along the newly paved Carbon-Coal Road, a 5 mile, 4-lane highway designed to accommodate vastly increased truck traffic into and out of the Gallup Energy Logistics Park, a 21,000 linear foot, BNSF-certified rail facility.

The McKinley County Industrial Park is a collaborative effort led by McKinley County and the City of Gallup. The state investment will cover the costs for sewer, water, and natural gas.

To date, Gallup Land Partners, LLC (GLP) has donated nearly 200 acres of real estate to McKinley County to spur economic growth in the region. The donation included the 250-foot wide right of way to pave Carbon Coal Road between U.S. Hwy 491 and the Gallup Energy Logistics Park that will save 20 miles off the round trip to the Four Corners / San Juan Basin area. Gallup Land Partners also donated 40 acres to the County for the McKinley County Industrial Park.