‘Wait & See’ on Spaceport Welcome Center RFP Outcome

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

Truth or Consequences City Commissioner Steve Green put the item on the Tuesday, May 8 regular meeting agenda. He wants the city to respond to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s (NMSA) Request for Proposals for land. The site chosen will become the location of the spaceport welcome center. NMSA is to come out with the RFP in about a week.

Green repeated oft-heard arguments:

•The NMSA took away the visitors’ center, which will now be located at the spaceport, leaving Hatch and Truth or Consequences with what Hatch Mayor Judd Nordyke refers to as “glorified bus stations.”

•The 2007 gross receipts tax referendum campaign failed to mention that gross receipts taxes will not be collected on the $200,000 tickets Virgin Galactic is selling to suborbital space, or any other space-related business.

•Previous NMSA Executive Director Steve Landeene promised a visitors’ center at the old fire hall, “signed by both parties,” said Green, before being rejected by the Department of Finance & Administration because it was the wrong format – a Joint Powers Agreement and not a Memorandum of Agreement.

Green says part of the GRT vote passed because of this downtown visitors’ center promise.

Commissioner Freddie Torres said he agreed. “They just flat out lied to us,” he said.

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