Meeting Info

Strategic Objectives

In 2013, the County Commission established a new Department of Community and Economic Development with the following strategic objectives:

  1. Conduct ongoing outreach to our entrepreneurial, business, farming, and ranching communities throughout the County, listen to them and understand their needs in order to direct them to timely and relevant resources based on their objectives and priorities.
  2. Establish and develop key partnerships and collaborative efforts to promote effective and efficient systems of support for our entrepreneurial, business, farming, and ranching communities with the development of strategic networking system.
  3. Provide support to the economic and community development efforts of other public institutions, nonprofit organizations and private sector entities.
  4. Offer timely leadership and support on strategic priorities as they arise, such as: last mile broadband; state and federal small business contracting; grant writing and administration; or electric rates.

Our Census Data

The Federal Government recently released the results of the 2020 Census. Linked below are a couple of different resources and tools that help our office write grants and make proposals, and help us to understand what sort of projects are most important to the County.

Rio Arriba County Geography profile

Rio Arriba and Espanola Quickfacts

RAC Quickfacts Dashboard

Tribal Information

RAC Narrative Profile

Interactive Census Map


The department recently won a grant with the New Mexico Tourism Department and the New Mexico True CoOP to start tourism initiatives for the County. Come visit!

Visit Rio Arriba Instagram

Visit Rio Arriba Facebook

Highlights and Accomplishments
  • Lobbied the governor for $1 Million to purchase the abandoned nursing home, then won a 500K CDBG grant and brought in an operator to run through Darrin’s Place, a new behavioral health facility in Espanola. Once fully operational it will have 75 jobs and have 104 beds for patients.
  • Public-Private Partnership between Rio Arriba County ($390,000 capital outlay), City of Espanola ($600,000 building), Siete del Norte ($700,000 multi-year operating grant), NMED ($75,000 Phase I Environmental) and other local partners to establish Regional Food Hub to support local farming, ranching and value added food producers.
  • Worked with the Greater Espanola Valley Community Development Corporation to contract with the Chamber of Commerce to establish the “VEN” Valley Entrepreneurial Network initiative that will conduct outreach to the entrepreneurial and business communities to understand their need and connect them with resources. This partnership helped the Chamber move forward and secure a full time Executive Director to serve our region. Secured $1,000,000 United States Economic Development Administration Grant for the development of the Arriba Empowerment Center and recruited tenants with projected rental income of $100,000.
  • Proposed, promoted and secured $30,000,000 in General Obligation Bonds for County roads, skilled nursing home facility and recreation center.
  • Secured multiyear Rural Community Assistance Corporation grant to augment County business recruitment, retention, and expansion and creation efforts.
  • Facilitated $150,000,000 Industrial Revenue Bond to finance a 150MW solar facility with 20MW battery in Rio Arriba County and negotiated for an $800,000 upfront payment in lieu of taxes.
  • Assisted with the passage of two major bond General Obligation Bonds, the first of their time in the County
  • Passed Resolution and advocated to support Jemez Electric Cooperative in its effort to assure wholesale electric rates are properly regulated by the PRC. This effort has saved community members several millions of dollars to date.
  • Supported the inception and continuation of joint City Council-County Commission meetings that have allowed these key community institutions to identify opportunities for collaboration; prioritization of objectives and working more effectively on behalf of our constituents. This new established formal practice of collaboration has enjoyed proven successes.
  • Assisted one manufacturing company and one farm to secure a combined $80,000 in LANL Venture Acceleration Funding. This was the first time in the history of the VAF program that a Rio Arriba company received an award and this year we enjoyed two successful applicants.
  • Collaborated with local and statewide partners to secure $40,000 to develop a plan to re-establish a local commercial kitchen to support farmers and local value added food producers
  • Worked with Village of Chama to retain Visitor Center after State vacated facility.

Behavioral Health Resources

The Economic Development Department partners with behavioral healthcare providers in the County to ensure that citizens struggling with addiction issues have access to the healthcare they need.

Hoy Recovery - Custom, individualized treatment in a structured and caring setting. Hoy is located in Velarde and offers inpatient, outpatient, and intensive outpatient services.

Darrin's Place - services include integrated dual diagnosis treatment, dialectical behavioral therapy, individual, group, and family therapy, and medication-assisted treatment, among others. They are located in Espanola and offer 90 and 180 day options of intensive outpatient treatment.

Economic Development Director

Christine Bustos,

Economic Development Director