In a Village the size of Cimarron, economic development is a very hot topic. Earlier in January the State of New Mexico and Lance Forest Products announced the relocation of their sawmill in Northern California to a industrial site here in the Village. While this is great news for the community, such as at least 40 new jobs, and the transformation of a vacant lot into a tax generating property, it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.
The first of these is the drafting and passing of a LEDA (Local Economic Development Act) ordinance, which allows the municipality and the business interest to begin the slow process of applying for economic development grants, securing private financing, and establishing the basic legal framework for the deal to come to fruition. Currently the Village Council is waiting on Lance Forest Products to submit answers to a series of questions, both organizational as well as financial to minimize the number of amendments and related expenses (lawyers aren’t free) to the LEDA documents.
Ultimately the issue was tabled until the February 12th meeting allowing Lance Forest Products an additional two weeks to submit their answers. Village Administrator, Shawn Jefferies, was directed by the Counselors to contact Lance Forest Products and let them know the Village is ready to proceed as soon as they can get their information submitted.
Meanwhile back in Northern California, Lance Forest Products is disassembling their current sawmill and assisting their employees there with finding new jobs in the area. We will see how long it takes before they are turning logs into lumber and other related wood products here in Cimarron.