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City, State News Briefs

City, State News Briefs

Heads have started rolling at La Montañita Co-op

New Monanita Co-op Board Shaking Things Up

Not-so good news for Intel’s Rio Rancho Fab



It looks like Intel’s Rio Rancho plant has missed out on another round of technology upgrades by its chip-making parent. But its Chandler, Ariz. plant hasn’t. Intel said it will invest $7 billion over the next four years in its uncompleted Fab 42 in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, a move the company said will “create approximately 3,000 high-tech, high-wage jobs for process engineers, equipment technicians and facilities-support engineers.” The Chandler plant will produce cutting-edge, 7-nanometer microprocessing chips. Intel hasn’t made a major investment in the Rio Rancho plant since 2009 when Sandoval County approved a $16 billion industrial revenue bond deal for the facility. As of 2016, the company had used about $6 billion of that bonding capacity; it has until Oct. 25, 2019 to access what remains of the IRB. Former employees have told ABQ Free Press Weekly that as few as 700 people work at the Rio Rancho facility. Intel officials have declined to discuss workforce levels.

Risky business

The City of Albuquerque needs to put more money every year into its risk management fund or run the risk of not being able to pay out all future liabilities claims. That’s what State Auditor Tim Keller said in a Feb. 13 letter to the city that accompanied the city’s annual audit. The city currently puts $35 million to $40 million a year into the fund, which covers claims against the city. Last July, the city said the fund faced future potential liability claims of $92.4 million. The city said it adopted a plan in 2015 to put an extra $2.1 million to $3.6 million a year into the fund. Keller said it needs an extra $6.3 million a year. From 2010 to 2016, the city paid $62.3 million in civil rights claims against the Albuquerque Police Department.

Co-op shakeup

Heads have started rolling at La Montañita Co-op now that the “Take Back the Co-op” group has control of the organization’s board. Dennis Hanley is out as the general manager, and so is the assistant he hired. On Feb. 10, the board sent co-op members an email detailing some of the changes. “We are streamlining the operations, increasing efficiency and decreasing cost. So, what will we look like??? The General Manager, Operations Director and Merchandising Category Manager positions are being eliminated, and there will be two new Divisions: Cooperative Retail Division and Cooperative Support and Operations Division,” the email said. Two sources told ABQ Free Press Weekly that Hanley was released on Feb. 9. Hanley could not be reached for comment.

UNM Regents

Gov. Susana Martinez has nominated Alex Romero for appointment to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. His nomination must be approved by the Senate. Romero announced he would be retiring in April as executive director of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, a job he held for 12 years. Romero is a replacement for former House Speaker Don Tripp, a Socorro Republican, who was appointed to the UNM Regents board by Martinez in January but he withdrew his name from consideration because he feared his appointment might violate a state constitutional prohibition against legislators being appointed to any state post during their term or for a year after their term ends.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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