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Governor has been doing a lot of celebrating


The abandoned seed barn off West Amador Avenue has stood for decades as a giant monument to lost industry.

The city has had big plans in the past to breathe new life into the old structure. In 2015 it was going to be part of Gin Plaza, described in the ill-fated Amador Próximo project as an “homage to the neighborhood’s agricultural and industrial history and an invitation to millennials who crave an eclectic vibe in which to explore, live, work and recreate.”

Amador Próximo was just another in a long line of grand plans by the city that never went anywhere. Don’t get me started on the federal money wasted on plans to revive El Paseo in 2012.

And so, it was big news last week when a film production company from California bought the old seed barn, with plans to convert it into a film production studio. 828 Productions said it will spend $75 million over the next six years on construction, resulting in at least 100 jobs. They have also purchased office space in downtown Las Cruces.

We have been late to the party in taking advantage of film credits paid for by tax collections throughout the state, but in the past have only benefitted Santa Fe and Albuquerque. This will help us get our share.

The state has pledged $3 million in Local Economic Development Act funds to support the new studio, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was in town to help celebrate the good news. It was just one of many such celebratory trips the governor has made this month.

On Aug. 19 she went to Farmington to celebrate a $40 million state investment in the Piñon Hills Boulevard Extension road project.

On Aug. 18 she went to Gallup to celebrate an $8 million state investment to drill more water wells for delivery to the Navajo Nation. On that same trip, she also celebrated a $4.3 million state investment for bridge repair in McKinley County.

She was celebrating here in Las Cruces Aug. 17. On Aug. 10 she was in Santa Fe to celebrate a $150,000 LEDA investment in Parting Stone, a company that has come up with a process to convert the cremated remains of your loved ones into a smooth stone.

On Aug. 8 she went to Albuquerque to celebrate $15 million in state funding for nurse training as part of the groundbreaking for the new College of Nursing and Public Health Excellence Building.

And, on Aug. 2 she went to Bernalillo to celebrate a $5.7 million state investment for a new Sandoval County Public Safety Complex.

So much celebrating, and so little time before re-election in November. No wonder her Republican opponent, Mark Ronchetti, wants to cut us each an $800 check every year.

Walter Rubel can be reached at waltrubel@gmail.com.

Walt Rubel