Regional Planning: Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District
1600 SE Main, Suite D, Roswell, NM 88203 Executive Director, Hubert Quintana
The SNMEDD is one of several hundred Council of Governments and Economic Development Districts established throughout the United States since their creation in 1965. The Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District was formed in 1971. At that time, the SNMEDD, along with the federal Economic Development Administration and the State of New Mexico entered into a contractual agreement with the municipalities and county governments of Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, and Otero Counties. SNMEDD is the largest planning district in New Mexico covering over 26,000 square miles and the second largest in population, serving over approximately 225,000 people. There are seven Councils of Governments in New Mexico, and the SNMEDD represents Regional Planning District VI.
In 1969, under the directive of New Mexico's Governor, David Cargo, the State Planning Office was asked to conduct a study to determine the most appropriate manner in which to divide the state. Six district boundaries were originally established on the basis of specific criteria, such as: jurisdiction, population, homogeneity, travel time, administrative costs, urban centers and other social, economic and historical considerations. One of these six districts was later divided, making a total of seven.
The Southeastern New Mexico counties of Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln and Otero were designated as State Planning District VI. Twenty-one municipalities exist within Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln and Otero Counties of New Mexico. All of these municipalities are members of the Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District and are active participants in the District organization and programs.
One of the most important functions of the SNMEDD involves the utilization of regional capabilities. Projects included are solid waste, water and sewer system improvements, business retention, business assistance, business development, recreation facilities, industrial park improvements, job development and assistance, public buildings and transportation related initiatives. The regional planning organization can assist in this area in two ways: (1) working with local governments in planning for major capital improvements; and (2) assistance in procuring federal and state aid for needed capital improvement projects.