Monthly Newsletter

October 2023

Message from the Executive Director

It's October and time to celebrate our state's most beautiful season! We hope you are enjoying the cooling temperatures and beautiful fall colors settling in across the region.

Please join us for our last Board of Directors meeting for 2023, on October 26 at 1:30 pm. Check our website ( for the location and zoom link. Most importantly, remember to attend our region's Federal Grant Trainings in Las Vegas and Espanola on October 5 and 6. We hope to see you there!

-Monica Abeita

Investing in America

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in New Mexico

Save the Date!: Federal Grants Workshops

Federal Grant Opportunities under the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, and CHIPS Act -- Fall 2023 NM Federal Grants Management Bureau

REGISTER HERE for the free in person trainings by the New Mexico Federal Grants Management Bureau, Department of Finance and Administration, in partnership with North Central New Mexico Economic Development District and USDA.

Las Vegas

Thursday, October 5, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

New Mexico Highlands University, Student Union,

3rd Floor


Friday, October 6, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Northern New Mexico College

We will cover new grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation (BIL), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and CHIPS, or Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act of 2022. The USDA will also join us to share about some of the important new funding opportunities being made available through them due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

This informational session is for local governments, Tribal governments, state agencies, and the people who work with them. 

Questions? Contact (505-470-7935) or (505-469-2729).

Meet our New Emergency Management Specialist!

Jorge Martinez comes to us from Gallup, New Mexico and has a strong background in wildland fire response and the National Park Service. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position as an Emergency Management Specialist with North Central.

Currently, Jorge is supporting the fire teams in Mora and San Miguel counties with grant applications and claims, as well as requesting generators for all the fire stations. In the near future, Jorge will be working to improve interagency coordination and emergency communications and supporting a variety of preparedness and forestry initiatives across the region.

Contact Jorge Martinez at:

Phone: 505-670-4445


EDD Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program

C-PACE is a financing structure enabled by state statute and local ordinance that provides eligible property owners with access to long-term fixed rate financing for a range of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, and resiliency improvements. The program allows local governments to secure the financing via a special improvement assessment on the improved property.

To be eligible, county governments must pass an ordinance opting into the statewide program for properties within the county.

The C-PACE programs offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Spurring local job growth
  • Reducing utility bills
  • Removing barriers of large upfront cash for clean energy property improvements
  • Allowing repayment over a longer period of time, commensurate with the useful life of the improvements
  • Allowing the repayment obligation to be kept with the property upon sale

For more information on the program, visit the C-PACE web page at: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program - New Mexico EDD ; or, contact Nora Sackett at

Important Notice: USDA Rural Development

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2023 - USDA Rural Development announced that on October 1, 2023, the USDA will begin using the most recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine program eligibility for Rural Development programs.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2024, the agency will use 2020 Decennial Census population data and 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS) income data to determine eligibility. The agency previously used 2010 Decennial Census data and 2006-2010 ACS data.

To learn more, read the full stakeholder announcement: 9.28.2023 On Oct. 1, USDA will Begin Using Most Recent Census Data to Determine Eligibility for Rural Development Programs

FEMA: Community Disaster Resilience Zones

Community Disaster Resilience Zones aim to build and strengthen community resilience across the nation by driving federal, public, and private resources to the most at-risk and in-need communities.

The Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act uses FEMA's National Risk Index to identify the most at-risk and in-need communities through resilience zones. Designated zones will be prioritized for targeted federal support, such as increased cost-share for resilience and mitigation projects. This lessens the financial burden on communities to perform resilience-related activities.

On September 6, 2023, FEMA announced the initial 483 designations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A second designation for tribal lands and territories will occur in the fall of 2023.

In our NCNMEDD Region, much of Colfax County has already been identified as a Community Disaster Resilience Zone.

Read More and Find out if you are in a Community Disaster Resilience Zone

New Mexico State University: Culinary Sprint

Arrowhead Center is offering a FREE business support program called Culinary Sprint, to existing and aspiring restaurant owners in New Mexico. This 6-week business support program will feature a curriculum designed to support participants in developing and strengthening their businesses through a guided exploration of the Business Model Canvas.

The offering includes personalized resources and assistance, mentorship, networking opportunities, and connections to business experts who specialize in a variety of fields (i.e. digital marketing, accounting, business finance, social media management, and more). This course is virtual and can be accessed via Zoom from the comfort of your home or office.

Culinary Sprint runs every Wednesday from October 12, 2023 to November 16, 2023.

Space is limited. Be sure to submit your application before the October 3, 2023 deadline.

New Mexico State University - BE BOLD. Shape the Future. (

THE (Training Home Educators) Accelerator

Do you care for children at home, or are you looking for meaningful work? THE (Training Home Educators) Accelerator can help home-based child-care providers grow and strengthen in New Mexico!

  • Live Zoom information session on October 5
  • Applications due October 16

About THE 2024 Accelerator:

  • Sessions to run January - June 2024 (Orientation in December)
  • Providers asked to commit 2-3 hours per week
  • Graduates will receive $1,000 or more in stipends for successful completion of the program
  • Previous graduates (class of '22 and '23) are welcome to apply. If accepted into the program, they will be considered "audits" and not eligible for the $1,000 participation stipend

Learn more at: THE (Training Home Educators Accelerator) - Growing Up New Mexico : Growing Up New Mexico (

Transportation Update

New Mexico DOT (NMDOT) is developing their first Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Safety Assessment, which will be followed by an update to the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The VRU Assessment is a new federal requirement to identify areas of high risk for vulnerable road users, and NMDOT is asking for your help.

You can share you experiences with NMDOT online at where you can also view a dynamic version of New Mexico’s High Injury Network (HIN).

The HIN shows the roads where the most crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles resulting in a fatality or serious injury have occurred from 2012 to 2022, and you can virtually pin your comments on that map and answer a short Priorities Survey. NMDOT will submit the assessment to the Federal Highway Administration by November 15, 2023, so get your comments in soon.

If you miss this submittal cutoff, subsequent input will be included in the SHSP, which will start after the completion of the VRU.

In Case You Missed It!:

Tribal/Local Public Agency (T/LPA) Certification Program Trainings:

NMDOT has updated their requirements for T/LPA Certification and are offering more trainings.

Any Tribal or local public agency who uses federal transportation funds must have one full-time employee of the agency who is certified to be in responsible charge, and this person does not have to be an engineer.

The deadline to have a certified person in responsible charge has been extended from January 1, 2024, to March 1, 2024, and NMDOT is offering three new trainings. Upcoming locations and dates: 

Two-day trainings are being held around the state in the coming months:

Las Cruces: October 11-12

Albuquerque: Nov 1-2

Clovis: Nov 14-15

Silver City: Dec 6-7

Albuquerque (new):

December 14-15

January 9-10, 2024

February 13-14, 2024

All trainings are free and will be held from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm on both days. Bring your copy of the T/LPA handbook, which is available from NMDOT’s website. Contact Frank Lozano, at to reserve a seat at one of the trainings.

If you are unable to make one of these two-day training sessions, NMDOT will be scheduling new trainings for groups of 15+ in the coming months, and starting December 1, 2023, you can study the T/LPA Handbook on your own and take the test online for certification.


If you have a transportation safety concern or a prior federally funded safety study that you’d like to implement, please contact Paul Sittig and we can help you develop your project with our on-call grant writing, professional engineering, and GIS support.

Local & Regional Events and News

Economic Development Summit in Raton

Raton is hosting a FREE Regional Economic Development Summit on October 13 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm with optional mid-afternoon tours as well as Friday evening and weekend activities, featuring the Spaghetti and Westerns Film Festival.

For more Information or to reserve your place, please visit: Raton Economic Development Summit RSVP (


Come to learn, share, and collaborate. 

Hear from the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the North Central NM Economic Development District, the Ports-to Plains Alliance, and the Raton City Manager and more about the exciting regional developments and opportunities to collaborate for economic and workforce growth in our region.

Summit Topics: 

  • Rural Broadband Connectivity and Expansion 
  • Vacant and Dilapidated Buildings 
  • Outdoor Recreation in NE New Mexico 
  • Rural Film Productions and Support 
  • Ports-to-Plains I-27 expansion

Outdoor Economics Conference

Join us at the New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference to help advance economic development strategies and opportunities connected to protected public lands.  

This conference will highlight successful community economic development efforts within and outside of New Mexico that are connected to protected lands. We expect attendance from community leaders across the state and elsewhere interested in developing and enhancing opportunities to grow our outdoor recreation economy.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA

Now Hiring VISTA positions throughout the region.

Check out the positions that are available HERE.

AmeriCorps VISTA projects empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.  

To learn more, apply to be a VISTA, or apply to be a VISTA subsite in our region, contact 

Nancy Kastning at 505-819-9449 or 

Grant and Funding Opportunities

EPA Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA), Deadline October 12.

To finance clean technology deployment in low-income and disadvantaged communities while simultaneously building the capacity of community lenders that serve those communities.

DOE Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas, Deadline October 12.

To support small community-driven clean energy projects.

EPA National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), Deadline October 12.

To finance clean technology deployment nationally.

HUD HOPE VI Mainstreet Grant Program, Deadline October 12.

To assist in the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district, or “Main Street” area, by replacing unused, obsolete, commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units.

EPA Tribal Support for E-Enterprise for the Environment, 2024-2029, Deadline October 16.

To support and enhance tribal participation in E-Enterprise by providing tribes the necessary research, training, and technical assistance (RTTA).

USDA Forest Service Inflation Reduction Act Forest Landowner Support, Deadline October 21. Provides financial assistance for projects that support underserved and small-acreage forest landowner participation in emerging private markets for climate mitigation and forest resilience.

HUD Tenant Education and Outreach (TEO), Deadline October 23.

Permits annual Section 8 appropriations to be made available for tenant capacity building and other related activities. The TEO program aims to build the capacity of tenants to be active partners in the preservation of at-risk multifamily properties. Tenant capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes, and resources that tenants and tenant organizations need to be active partners in the preservation and improvement of their housing communities.

HUD Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing), Deadline October 30. PRO Housing empowers communities that are actively taking steps to remove barriers to affordable housing and seeking to increase housing production and lower housing costs for families over the long term. Under this NOFO, HUD will provide PRO Housing grants to identify and remove barriers to affordable housing production and preservation. Grantees may use awards to further develop, evaluate, and implement housing policy plans, improve housing strategies, and facilitate affordable housing production and preservation.

USDA Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2023 West, Deadline October 31.

To assist at-risk local communities and Indian Tribes with planning and mitigating against the risk created by wildfire.

USDA Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2023 Tribes, Deadline October 31.

To assist local communities and Indian Tribes with planning and mitigating against the risk created by wildfire.

FY 2023 Emergency Relief Grants for Public Transportation Systems Affected by Major Declared Disasters in Calendar Years 2017, 2020, 2021, and 2022, Deadline October 31. For states, territories, local government authorities, Indian Tribes, and other FTA recipients affected by major declared disasters in calendar years 2017, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Projects may include costs for disaster response, recovery, and rebuilding activities. Costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic are not eligible for this funding.

DOC Species Recovery Grants to Tribes, Deadline October 31.

To support conservation of endangered, threatened, and candidate species or species proposed for listing, as well as post-delisting monitoring of recovered species.

USDA RUS Assistance to High Energy Cost Communities, Deadline October 31. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), announces the availability of up to $10M in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, or improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities where the average annual residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275% of the national average. Eligible projects also include on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects and the implementation of energy efficiency and energy conservation projects.

BOR WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency Projects for Fiscal Year 2024, Deadline October 31.

Supports a proactive approach to drought by providing assistance to water managers to: develop and update comprehensive drought plans and implement projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought.

EPA Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program, Deadline November 6. For projects in underserved communities that are disadvantaged or serve a population of less than 10,000 individuals to increase drinking water system resilience to natural hazards.

HUD Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program, Deadline October 16. To assist experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities in undertaking comprehensive programs that make safety and functional home modification repairs and renovations to meet the needs of low-income seniors. The goal of the home modification program is to enable low-income elderly persons to remain in their homes through low-cost, low barrier, high impact home modifications to reduce older adults' risk of falling, improve general safety, increase accessibility, and to improve older adults' functional abilities in their homes.

HUD Healthy Homes Production Grant Program, Deadline November 7. The program takes a comprehensive approach to addressing multiple childhood diseases and injuries in the home by focusing on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, rather than addressing a single hazard at a time.

DOT Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator, November 13. This NOFO announces the availability of up to $100M in federal funding to repair and replace existing, but non-operational, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

EPA FY24 Guidelines for Technical Assistance to Tribal Nations and Entities Addressing Brownfields Grant, Deadline November 13.

To build sustainable brownfield programs and strengthen capacity to manage successful brownfields reuse.

IMLS Museums for America (2024), Deadline November 15.

The Museums for America program supports museums of all sizes and disciplines in strategic, project-based efforts to serve the public through exhibitions, educational/interpretive programs, digital learning resources, professional development, community debate and dialogue, audience-focused studies, and/or collections management, curation, care, and conservation.

IMLS National Leadership Grants for Museums (2024), Deadline November 15.

National Leadership Grants for Museums supports projects that address critical needs of the museum and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession to strengthen museum services for the American Public.

IMLS Inspire! Grants for Small Museums (2024), Deadline November 15.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums is a special initiative of the Museums for America program. It is designed to support small museums of all disciplines in project-based efforts to serve the public through exhibitions, educational/interpretive programs, digital learning resources, policy development and institutional planning, technology enhancements, professional development, community outreach, audience development, and/or collections management, curation, care, and conservation.

DOA Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP), Deadline November 22. To help eligible processors expand their processing capacity, which create new, better and more processing options for meat and poultry producers.

DOT Cooperative Agreements with Technical Assistance Providers for the FY23 Thriving Communities Program, Deadline November 28.

This NOFO continues investment in a national technical assistance program and provides new opportunities for community level support through the Thriving Communities Regional Pilot Program that will drive innovation, advance equity outcomes, and build a national pipeline of community-driven infrastructure projects.

USFS Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2024 Tribes, Deadline December 15.

To encourage collaborative, science-based restoration of priority rural forest landscapes. This program supports high impact projects that lead to measurable outcomes on the landscape, leverage public and private resources, and further priorities identified in science-based restoration strategies.

Planning Ahead

DOC Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, Deadline January 23, 2024.

To expand access to and adoption of: (i) broadband service on Tribal Land or (ii) programs that promote the use of broadband to access remote learning, telework, or telehealth resources.

BOR WaterSMART Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Projects for Fiscal Year 2023, Deadline January 24, 2024.

To study, design and construct aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that are collaboratively developed, have widespread regional benefits, and result in the improvement of the health of fisheries, wildlife, and aquatic habitat through restoration and improved fish passage.

BOR WaterSMART Planning and Project Design Grants for FY23 & FY24, Deadline April 2, 2024.

Provides funding for collaborative planning and design projects to support water management improvements. This includes funding for: (1) Water Strategy Grants to conduct planning activities to improve water supplies (e.g., water supplies to disadvantaged communities that do not have reliable access to water, water marketing, water conservation, drought resilience, and ecological resilience); (2) Project Design Grants to conduct project-specific design for projects to improve water management; and (3) comprehensive Drought Contingency Plans. 

BOR WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I for FY23, Deadline September 3, 2024.

The objective of this NOFO is to invite states, Indian Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, local governmental entities, non-profit organizations, existing watershed groups, and local and special districts (e.g., irrigation and water districts, conservation districts, natural resource districts) to submit proposals for Phase I activities to develop a watershed group, complete watershed restoration planning activities, and design watershed management projects.

BOR WaterSMART: Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects, This rolling NOFO has three Application Submission Periods with a Final Closing on September 30, 2024.

The WaterSMART Program provides a framework for Federal leadership and assistance to stretch and secure water supplies for future generations in support of the Department's priorities. Through WaterSMART, the Bureau of Reclamation leveraged Federal and non-Federal funding to support stakeholder efforts to stretch scarce water supplies and avoid conflicts over water. Provides Technical assistance to local water agencies for the planning, design, and construction of water reclamation and reuse projects. Projects develop and supplement urban and irrigation water supplies through water reuse, thereby improving efficiency, providing flexibility during water shortages, and diversifying the water supply. These projects provide growing communities with new sources of clean water which increases water management flexibility and makes our water supply more reliable. First Application Submission Period Due Date is November 21, 2023.

USDA RUS Calendar Year 2022 Disaster Water Grants, Until Funds are Exhausted.

To assist communities by awarding grant funds to qualified entities for expenses related to water infrastructure systems in designated areas that were impacted by events that occurred during calendar year 2022 and were recognized through Presidentially Declared Disasters.

USDA Community Facilities Program Disaster Repair Grants, Until Funds are exhausted.

To eligible public bodies, non-profits, and federally recognized Tribes. Grants may cover up to 75 percent of total project cost. There is no minimum or maximum award amount.

EDA FY23 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistant Programs, Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new PWEAA NOFO.

To meet the full range of communities' and regions' economic need from planning and technical assistance to construction of infrastructure.

DOT Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program NOFO, Applications open 60 days after the post date (June 15, 2023). Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, with applications reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Grants to fund financial, technical, and legal assistance to states and rural tribal communities. The grants are intended to increase organizational capacity in communities that may not have resources available to evaluate and develop projects that qualify for federal funding and financing programs.

Work with NCNMEDD! See our

Contract and Employment Opportunities.

Featured Community of the Month!

"Where the West is Still Wild!"

Established in 1857, the Village of Cimarron, New Mexico is the Historic Heart of the West. Intriguing and diverse, its history reaches back to the Santa Fe Trail. Cimarron is also home to the Philmont Scout Ranch along with the Old Mill Museum, the historic St. James Hotel and other area attractions.

CIMARRON, New Mexico was once the home of Anasazi, Jicarilla, Apache, and Ute Indians, and is located on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. It became the hub of a vast mining and ranching empire in the mid to late 19th century. The pioneer spirit which gave rise to Cimarron brought the famous and infamous alike. Western legends such as Kit Carson, Black Jack Ketchum, Wyatt Earp, Clay Allison, and Buffalo Bill have each added flair to the area’s rich history.

In Spanish, Cimarron means “wild and unruly,” harking back to the historical turbulence of this now peaceful community. The area was once part of the controversial Maxwell Land Grant, which eventually caused the Colfax County War in the late 1800s. In addition to Cimarron’s rich Native American heritage, Spanish settlers, homesteaders, trappers, traders, and many other colorful characters made this beautiful area their home.

In the 1800s, few towns had such a reputation for violent gun play as Cimarron. Once lawless, today this peaceful town echoes the sights and sounds of its historic past. You can still see ruts of the Santa Fe Trail and walk on this historic living monument. The sparkle of trail campfires and the howl of coyotes remind us that the old west and the new west overlap.

Upcoming Events in Cimarron

With the arrival of Fall and "Spooky Season," consider making a stop in Cimarron. Cimarron has a number of haunted historic sites, most notably, The St. James Hotel.

First built in 1872 by Henri Lambert - personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln - many infamous outlaws have stayed at the St. James over the years, including: Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, "Big Nose" Kate, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, and Thomas James Wright.

Learn More at: St. James Hotel (

For other Paranormal Adventures in Cimarron, consider visiting:

  • Dawson Cemetery
  • The Mountain View Cemetery
  • The Aztec Mill
  • Eagle Nest Lodge
  • The Village of Colfax
  • The Town of Dawson
  • Elizabethtown

Read More before Your Visit: Ghost Hunting - Cimarron, NM (

In case you missed it!

USDA Grants Help People Repair Homes Damaged in 2022 Forest Fires

Rural Disaster Home Repair Grant Program. Residents in Mora, San Miguel, and Colfax Counties may be eligible for funding of up to $40,675 to repair their homes. For more information, visit: