LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Las Vegas received an early Christmas present. They were given $140 million for wildfire relief.

The mayor of Las Vegas said this is the biggest influx of cash the area has ever received from the federal government. The money is going toward a critical resource: water.

It’s been a rough year for many in Northern New Mexico. Now, those affected by the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire will soon get more relief money.

“It doesn’t matter where you live. You are going to get compensated for what you lost,” said New Mexico State Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez.

Friday, the United States House passed an omnibus spending bill. In it, there’s almost $1.5 billion in funds for northern New Mexico families and businesses affected by the fire. As with previous relief packages, most of that money will still go towards individuals affected by the fire. However, this time, a chunk of that money is going toward the City of Las Vegas. The mayor of Las Vegas said this is huge.

“It will replace our antiquated treatment center for our water. It will also build a new filtration system to convert effluent water into potable water, and we can blend it into our reservoirs in our drinking water supply,” said Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo.

The area struggled with an extreme water shortage for months after the monsoon season caused flooding in the burn scar and damaged the area’s watershed. Now, the $140 million from the federal government will fully cover the cost of the 5-year project to revamp their water treatment system.

“It created a big need for us to have a filtration system that’ll handle the type of water that’s coming down the river right now,” said Mayor Trujillo.

According to state leaders, the project will ensure clean water for future generations.

“People will be able to have clean water into the future, and, so, we are working with them to replace that system with something that is going to be good and useful for decades to come,” said Rep. Leger Fernandez.


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The bill includes $1.7 trillion in government spending across the U.S. With the latest round, the federal government has now put almost $4 billion toward New Mexico wildfire relief.

The spending bill includes money for other water infrastructure projects around the state, economic development projects, and improvement on tribal lands.