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Will Gallup attract industry to the area?

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GGEDC paints a positive picture for city leaders

Patrick Mason, treasurer of the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors, presented the GGEDC 2018 Annual Report at the Nov. 13 Gallup City Council regular meeting.

The GGEDC is a nonprofit organization that aims to drive economic growth by building on local assets and strategic partnering to attract and recruit business and industrial employers that provide economic base jobs in the Gallup-McKinley County area.

According to information presented at the meeting, the GGEDC website pulled the following stats from the past year:

4,286 unique users from 61 countries, including Ukraine, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Germany and Canada.

14,662 site pageviews from 1,030 cities, including San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Dallas, TX; New York, NY; and Houston, TX.

693 business contacts, with 31 of those contacts requesting information about GGEDC programs, 28 projects proposed, 21 in-person site visits, and nine active projects in the works.

Contact with 15 local companies, 13 local landowners, 98 domestic companies, 55 foreign companies, 15 work site selectors, 14 potential recruitment opportunities and six visits to industry trade shows.

Mason also provided figures showing GGEDC has a projected 2018 revenue of over $300,000, against an estimated spending of nearly $250,000.

Mason said a new business could potentially generate anywhere between 33 and 100 local jobs. He said while major cities might dismiss this number as insignificant, a town like Gallup would welcome such an opportunity for growth.

Mason discussed the economic opportunities the GGEDC projects would bring to Gallup. The estimated fiscal impact of one active project, for example, is around $9.4 million, he said.

“[Gallup] was a community that was going to help them bring [their plans] to a fruition,” Mason said, explaining why companies want to work with the GGEDC.

Mason cited local assets like Highway 66 and the railroad, one of the busiest in the state, as economic opportunities for Gallup. Both bring a considerable amount of tourism traffic, he said.

Mason also mentioned a frequent tourist from Korea who became interested in doing business in the Gallup area. Mason said the tourist enjoyed the region when visiting, and found a business opportunity within a community that will back him. Results from projects like this would be seen within the next year, he said.

“None of this [growth] is possible without you,” Mason said, citing the efforts of the city council to provide an avenue for these businesses to begin and flourish.

City Manager Maryann Ustick expressed optimism about the potential business deals.

“The city works closely with GGEDC staff and provides support on potential projects located in our city,” she said. “We are excited to see some of the economic development projects, that are in progress, and which will create much needed new and well paying jobs, come to fruition.”

Other items discussed at meeting:

The Annual Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 1. McKinley County District III Commissioner Bill Lee was present at the meeting to discuss the road closure of Aztec Avenue from 8th Street to 1st Street.

Ordinance No. C2018-16 gave an official status to the existing library advisory board. The ordinance specified factors such as how members are appointed, term lengths, term limits and a conflict of interest provision.

Ordinance No. C2018-17 and Ordinance No. C2018-18 amended sections of the Animal Control Code dealing with chickens and the transport of animals, respectively. C2018-17 said the Animal Control Ordinance had to be amended to reflect the new zoning designation. C2018-18 said animal protection officers were called to impound animals in vehicles involved in DWI arrests; this ordinance would create a new offense that covers endangering an animal by driving while intoxicated or driving recklessly with an animal in the vehicle.

The City of Gallup Fire Department requested approval of Assistance to Firefighter Grant award of $37,800 for the purpose of purchasing 15 complete sets of personal protective equipment. The award was applied to fund 218, Revenue and Qualified Expenditures. Acting Deputy Chief Jesus Morales spoke for this item.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent

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