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County to mull support of research project

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LAS CRUCES (AP) — The Dona Ana County Commission is scheduled Tuesday to consider a proposal supporting a private firm’s plans to build a $1 billion scientific ghost town.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/SdtUjS) that Pegasus Global Holdings picked a location south of Interstate 10 between Deming and Las Cruces in early December for the site of its project. The project would be located mainly in Luna County, but a private access road could be located in Dona Ana County.

The project’s plans called for an uninhabited replica of an average, mid-size American city to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets. The facility would be known as the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation.

Last year, the firm had selected Hobbs for the project, but then walked away citing problems with a land deal.

The proposal scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the Dona Ana County Commission would pledge that the county will cooperate with Luna County and the company, such as by providing relevant information. Also, it would ask Luna County to keep Dona Ana County updated about progress.

Dona Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett said the proposal is intriguing, partly because of the jobs it could create.

Company officials have said the project would create about 350 direct jobs.

But Garrett said he’s cautious about the possible concerns that could crop up. “That goes with any large proposal,” he said. “I want to understand more about what exactly they’re proposing and what the conditions are.”

Much earlier in the firm’s project, a location in Dona County had been in the running for the project, when the company instead selected a parcel in Lea County, near Hobbs, last July. Within weeks, the company had backed out of that deal, saying problems had cropped up with the proposed land.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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