State Land Commissioner Signs Joint Planning Agreement with Gallup and McKinley County for Future Development on Trust Lands

21 Feb 2013

(SANTA FE, New Mexico) – The first of its kind agreement was signed between a state agency, a city, and a county today, between the New Mexico State Land Office, the City of Gallup, and McKinley County. The agreement pledges cooperative community planning efforts and additional measures to ensure transparency, with a goal of creating more jobs for the McKinley County/Gallup area through planned, responsible growth and development.

A Joint Planning Agreement (JPA) was signed by State Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney, and County Commission Chairman Genevieve Jackson (District 2) today in a ceremony at Gallup Day at the State Legislature, at the Roundhouse. State Representative Patricia Lundstrum (D-McKinley) was also present for the signing ceremony.

The JPA will establish a cooperative working relationship between the State Land Office, the City of Gallup, and McKinley County for marketing state trust lands for economic development purposes. It also pledges collaboration before any long-term lease, sale or exchange of state trust land occurs.

“This is an historic agreement that creates a partnership between State Land Office, the City of Gallup, and McKinley County. It will help create good jobs while protecting the quality of life and health of our state trust lands in this very special place,” said State Land Commissioner Ray Powell. “By working with the outstanding leaders of Gallup and McKinley County, we will also create additional revenues for our public schools, universities, and hospitals and thus keep our taxpayer’s bills lower."

“This agreement will help the Gallup area and McKinley County to be a model of planned economic development on state trust land within McKinley County,” said State Representative Patricia Lundstrom. “I look forward to working with the State Land Office on future development projects.”

“The City of Gallup has economic development opportunities for lands that border our city limits. The State Land Office controls some of those lands and we realize that we cannot develop the areas full potential without the assistance and cooperation of the Commissioner of Public Lands,” Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney. “We feel this is a great first step to a coordinated effort with McKinley County, the State Land Office and City at economic development for the greater Gallup area and welcome this groundbreaking tri-party agreement.”

“McKinley County is unique with its multi-jurisdictional ‘checkerboard’ land status. State Land Commissioner Ray Powell and his staff have worked to develop this agreement, which upholds the constitutional mandate of the State Land Office and at the same time creates this new opportunity for better communication and economic development in our community,” said McKinley County Attorney/PIO Doug Decker.

Fine points of the JPA include: the City, County and the Commissioner will implement processes that streamline the dedications of important roadway and infrastructure rights of way on developments that cross state trust lands; the Commissioner will consult with the County prior to any annexations and the Commissioner will enter into annexation agreements with the City prior to any proposed annexations; and the City and County will provide typical services to state trust lands pursuant to terms of joint plans including how payment, if any, will be made by whom.

The JPA became effective upon signing.

The New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children with physical, visual, and auditory disabilities. In fiscal year 2012, the trust lands and permanent funds produced a record amount of more than $650 million in income for the beneficiaries.

Article By: New Mexico State Land Office
For More Information, Contact: Karin Stangl, Assistant Commissioner of Communication, State Land Office
(505) 827-5739