Monday, May 19, 2008
Domenici Introduces Route 66 Bill
Journal Staff Report
Judging that a federal program to preserve parts of historic Route 66 is helping breathe new life into rural America, Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., has introduced legislation to ensure its continuation for another decade.
Domenici has introduced the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Reauthorization Act of 2008 that would renew until 2019 a National Park Service program. That program is now being used by communities and organizations to restore and preserve unique cultural resources along the 2,200-mile Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.
The Senate bill is cosponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and a companion bill is being introduced by Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., in the House of Representatives.
The three New Mexico lawmakers were primary sponsors of the 1999 law that first authorized federal support for preserving Route 66.
“There are more kicks to be had on old Route 66 and this program should be reauthorized. In towns like Albuquerque, Tucumcari and Grants, Route 66 helped define the character of the community. This program works to maintain that spirit,” Domenici said in a news release.
The bill would allow the National Park Service to continue collaborating with private property owners, non-profit organizations and local, state, federal, and tribal governments to identify and address preservation needs along the historic Route 66.
The program offers cost-share grants for the restoration properties dating back to 1926.
The 2008 grant application process is now open. For more information visit www.rt66nm.org.