Albuquerque Journal Business: Biz Bits - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal Business: Biz Bits

Funds to aid in wildfire defense

FILE – A firefighter monitors a backfire, flames lit by fire crews to burn off vegetation, while battling the Mosquito Fire in the Volcanoville community of El Dorado County, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded approximately $8 million to the Cimarron Watershed Alliance Inc. to create defensible space around homes, thin out forests to reduce hazardous fuel loadings, maintain existing fuel breaks, and create new fuel breaks to reduce wildfire risk. The project will treat about 150 to 175 properties per year and approximately 3,400 acres over the next five years.

New Mexico Tech commencement

The New Mexico Tech Class of 2023 and hundreds of faculty, staff, fellow students, family members and friends participated in this year’s commencement ceremony Saturday at the Socorro Sports Complex and Rodeo Grounds. The NMT Board of Regents conferred three associate’s degrees, 253 bachelor’s degrees, 103 master’s degrees, 14 doctorates, eight graduate certificates and two honorary degrees at the ceremony. Xochitl Torres Small, under secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Rural Development and former member of Congress, delivered the keynote address. Timothy Bonzon of Rio Rancho was the student speaker.

1-mile Albuquerque Rail Trail funded

The Department of Transportation awarded $11.5 million to the City of Albuquerque to construct an approximately 1-mile-long urban trail through the heart of Downtown Albuquerque. The project will provide a physical separation between bicyclists and cars, which will help reduce collisions, provide more transportation options and decrease vehicle miles traveled. The project will improve accessibility for an underserved community by connecting to existing bicycle infrastructure and transportation alternatives.

FAA awards Sunport $14M for upgrades

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded a $14 million grant to the Albuquerque International Sunport for a project to increase efficiency for new mechanical, electric and lighting systems and enhance accessibility, as well as new materials and connections to enhance access under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The grant funds the refurbishment of up to 14 passenger boarding bridges to increase accessibility and energy and operational efficiencies.

Broadband project in Santa Clara Pueblo

The Department of Commerce awarded $9.2 million to the Pueblo of Santa Clara for a Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project to install fiber directly connecting 600 unserved Native American households with fiber to 1 Gbps symmetrical and 50/10 Mbps wireless service.

Las Cruces replacing old diesel buses

The Department of Transportation awarded $5.7 million to the City of Las Cruces to replace aging diesel buses with battery-electric buses, purchase electric chargers, and create and maintain well-paying jobs in the second-largest city in New Mexico and the main transit hub of the south-central region of the state. This will help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an estimated 887 metric tons per year.

Law enforcement to focus on seat belts

The New Mexico Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies remind drivers to buckle up during the national annual “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign, which began May 15. Law enforcement will be looking for unrestrained drivers and passengers May 22 through June 4, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 50% of those killed in crashes in 2021 were unrestrained.

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