SANTA FE—Tonight, the Legislature approved and sent House Bill 197 to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature. House Bill 197 allows local governments to create industrial air center special economic districts. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell), Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), Rep. James Townsend (R-Artesia), and Rep. 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.


“This bill was a true team effort between the representatives and senators from the Roswell area, as well as the Chaves County Economic Development District,” said Rep. Ezzell. “I applaud the work that has gone into crafting this legislation. It will allow the City of Roswell and Chaves County expand activity at the air center and create more jobs for the area.”


“The legislation passed tonight will allow local governments to further develop the capabilities of the air center for the benefit of Chaves County,” said Rep. Townsend. “I appreciate the support of our colleagues to pass this bill and send it to the governor.”


“This idea is something we have needed for a long time,” said Rep. Wooley. “Having a special economic district will enable us to develop the Walker Air Base site into an economic asset for the area. This effort could be the future for economic development in Chaves County.”


“The former Walker Air Force Base could be a tremendous asset for Roswell and Chaves County if we invest in some facility upgrades and improvements,” said Rep. Nibert. “Creating this special economic district will provide focus for the site and encourage greater development. I hope Governor Martinez will sign this bill into law soon so Roswell can begin to move forward with this plan.”


HB 197 now heads to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature.