The pandemic, and the government edicts to minimize its spread, hit New Mexico communities like a vicious punch to the gut.
Many places were brought to their knees and struggle today to get to their feet. That is not so with Roswell.
Roswell is a tough town full of resilient people who have demonstrated again and again a can-do attitude. In 1967, the U.S. Air Force closed Walker Air Force Base. Roswell did not die. Roswell sits on the edge of the Permian Basin and thus experiences the crazy roller-coaster ride that is the oil business. The heart, if not the soul, of Roswell is agriculture. Farmers, ranchers, and dairy farmers make their living facing the ever-changing elements. These resilient, resourceful people have ensured that Roswell did more than survive COVID and various restrictions — we thrived.
Roswell Air Center became incredibly busy with more than 500 airlines parked here at one point, more planes than were stored anywhere else in North America. The safe storage of those planes generated exposure and interest that has stimulated unprecedented activity.
The City received a $2.8 million grant from the federal government to enlarge and modernize one of our key hangars. This will allow the building to accommodate larger planes. The City also has begun work on a project to build initially one, and later a second, large hangar. The large hangars will be big enough to accommodate a Boeing 777 airliner.
The City has agreed to purchase a prefabricated structure that could be utilized as either a hangar or warehouse at the Air Center.
Beyond the Air Center, the new Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center operated through the summer. A new splash pad opened on the south side of town. Work has begun on an all-inclusive park to accommodate special-needs children and their siblings.
There are a bunch of exciting developments in the works in Roswell! Come check us out!
Mayor, City of Roswell
Letter originally published in Focus Regional 2021 Winter edition.