As the new year commences, the Questa Economic Development Fund is working on a variety of projects that will impact the long-term economic viability of the Questa area. Our goal is to help Questa grow into a more diverse and sustainable economy.
With the Village of Questa, Chevron Mining, Inc., and many local partners, we are working together in 2023 to benefit Questa through business recruitment and growth, green energy exploration, an agricultural focus, workforce housing, childcare, recreation, tourism, and more.
There is so much opportunity in our area for economic diversification. The business park is ready to welcome new industries with sites prepped with utilities, electrical, and fiber optics. Chevron is working to transfer land and water rights to farmers to support locally grown food and preserve our agricultural traditions; other land and water is being considered for sustainable energy projects. The untapped beauty and adventures found in our National Forest and National Monument are a powerful draw to outdoor enthusiasts and visitors alike.
And there is much work to be done to continue to grow our economy. Interested businesses are looking for the availability of local employees and skilled labor; available land, water, and power sources; as well as rentals and affordable homes to accommodate workers and new personnel.
In order to hire employees, employees need somewhere to live. The absence of available accommodations is at a critical level. Developers, investors, and government agencies need current data to consider construction of workforce housing. QEDF is commissioning a comprehensive housing assessment to measure the level of housing need, the scale of affordability, and the type of lodging that’s needed to take the conversation to the next level.
The lack of childcare, like housing, impacts the availability of potential employees in our community. QEDF is evaluating the need, looking at funding and resources to support day-care providers, and working toward making childcare more accessible.
The feasibility of the production of renewable green hydrogen power in Questa is being explored by the National Renewable Energy Lab through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. This tremendous opportunity will create many new jobs, support skills development, and supplement Kit Carson Electrical Co-op’s 100-percent day-time solar to make energy in our area more affordable and environmentally sustainable.
To make our food supply more locally sourced and sustainable, a Questa Valley Agricultural Co-op is being proposed and considered. QEDF will be holding community meetings and co-op presentations early this year. Look for more information to come.
In recreation, the Questa to Red River Trail has been funded, and is scheduled in 2023 for engineering design and environmental assessments, making it ready for construction in following years. QEDF is also procuring conceptual plans for new trails in Largo Canyon as recommended by the Recreation Assessment conducted for us by Public Land Solutions. Along with our continued advertising partnership to promote Questa through New Mexico True, both of these trails will help drive visitors to our area, help enhance traffic to our businesses and ultimately increase gross receipts tax revenue in the Village.
For more information about these projects and the work of the QEDF, contact Lynn Skall, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (575) 586-2149.