The roof replacement project at the local operations of Dean Baldwin Painting is not receiving the $1 million grant that Gov. Susana Martinez announced during a January press conference in Roswell, at least not at this time.
City of Roswell spokesman Todd Wildermuth said that the Local Economic Development Act grant that Martinez announced in an event attended by local and state officials is not part of the state funding being used for the roof project on the city-owned hangar leased by Dean Baldwin.
The company paints aircraft for the military, commercial airlines, cargo companies and private interests. Two local contractors began Phase 1 of the roof replacement in July.
“The city is still in negotiations with the state regarding the LEDA funds,” he said. “Those funds have many stipulations attached to them that still need to be reviewed to determine if they are feasible for the city and/or Dean Baldwin to take on,” Wildermuth said in an email statement. “In the meantime, with the other funds available (city money and state loan), the city believes it is important to get the project underway.”
The current general manager of Dean Baldwin, Jude Zimmerman, said he was unaware of the specifics regarding the funding. A representative of the New Mexico Economic Development Department who spoke at a city meeting about the LEDA grant could not be reached for comment by press time.
A city announcement Thursday indicated that the $4 million roof replacement project is currently being funded by $1.5 million in city funds and a state loan of $2.5 million.
At the January press conference, officials said that the LEDA grant would require the local Dean Baldwin operations to add 70 new employees during a three-year period starting December 2016. A major employer in the city, the company has about 135 full-time employees, with the number of workers increasing up to 200 during peak production periods.
Several of the bays of Hangar 1083, called by local leaders the “premier” hangar at the Roswell International Air Center because of its size and capacity, have been leaking for a couple years. As much as ten thousand gallons of water have fallen into the hangar after rains, and a company manager has told both local and state elected officials that the leaks caused the company to halt production at times and were believed to have cost the company new clients.
The city repaired the hangar roof about 10 years ago, but city staff determined that a replacement— not a repair — was needed. City and Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. staff have worked for a couple of years to get state funding assistance.
Dean Baldwin Painting is based in Bulverde, Texas, and has painting facilities in Arizona, Indiana and Roswell as well as mobile services. Dean Baldwin managers have said that the local operation, which opened in 1999, has gross revenues of about $15 million a year.
Senior writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.