Nearly $47 million in funding from governor priority bill granted for Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire recovery
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today the state has approved $46.9 million in zero-interest loans to Mora and San Miguel counties provided through Senate Bill 6, a governor’s priority bill that she signed into law earlier this year.
The funding will be used for projects that replace or repair public infrastructure damaged by fire, flooding, or debris flows after the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire. These funds are the first allocation from the bipartisan Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire recovery bill signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham during the 2023 Legislative Session. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Pete Campos, Rep. Ambrose Castellano, Rep. Joseph Sanchez and Rep. Liz Stefanics.
“Getting this money out the door is a true testament to the power of collaboration between my administration, the Legislature, and local governments,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But this is by no means the end of our support for communities affected by the largest wildfire in state history. As I continue to urge the federal government to expedite the resources they owe northern New Mexicans, we will push forward together to make sure New Mexicans are taken care of in the meantime.”
The six projects for this round of funding include road and culvert restoration and resurfacing. The fires caused substantial damage and burn scars followed by rapid rainfall and flooding that saturated and weakened the infrastructure.
The zero interest recovery loans will assist communities with recovery efforts while they await funding from the FEMA Public Assistance program. San Miguel and Mora counties are the first of the political subdivisions to request this funding.
“While our communities continue the daily struggle to recover and rebuild after the devastating Calf Canyon and Hermit’s Peak Fire, the aid from Senate Bill 6 is proving to be an essential funding source as we await federal reimbursement,” said Sen. Pete Campos. “We are resilient but also recognize that this is going to be a long and difficult journey. It is critical that we maintain hope and a positive momentum in the wake of this disaster and the myriad aftereffects still emerging on a daily basis. I applaud Gov. Lujan Grisham and her administration for the expedient work in helping to make our communities whole again.”
“A year after the worst fire in New Mexico’s history, we have seen the incredible resilience of all those impacted by this unprecedented crisis. However, we also know this resilient community is going to need continued support to fully recover,” said Rep. Ambrose Castellano. “I am grateful to all my colleagues in the House and Senate and to Governor Lujan Grisham for prioritizing this relief and making sure it is efficiently distributed to those in need.”
Mora and San Miguel counties are the only political subdivisions to apply for the funding so far. The state continues to work with qualified political subdivisions to identify projects and ensure funding applications and implementation complies with federal and state requirements for the assistance.
In addition, the Lujan Grisham administration issued 21 executive orders on Tuesday for emergency funding totaling more than $15 million to support rebuilding efforts after the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire.
The two executive orders will fund projects for the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM).
DOT will receive $7.5 million in total to address economic and physical impacts of the fire.
DHSEM will receive $8.06 million for resources and services for wildfire disaster relief, as well as reimbursing the other states that helped during the initial emergency response.
The maximum amount that can be requested through a single emergency funding request is $750,000.