Authorities say the city is finally meeting recycling goals established with Friedman Recycling for the first time since 2013. As part of the city's profit- and cost-sharing agreement with Friedman, at least 3,200 tons of recyclables must be provided to the Friedman facility each month, or the city has to pay a fine. Until recently, the city was paying nearly $3,000 every month for not meeting the requirement. But the mayor's office now says the city is actually receiving checks from the company. According to the mayor's chief of staff, Gilbert Montaño, the city's recycling output has gone up 20 percent.
Highland Construction Gets City Approval
The city planning commission green-lighted plans made by Titan Development to begin construction on a 228-unit, multi-family community last week. The apartments, which will connect to Presbyterian Hospital by sky bridge, are a part of The Highlands, a $95 million mixed-use development north of Central. Last week, Titan released an animated video illustrating what the final structure will look like. Developers say they hope the Highlands will create a new neighborhood “on the order of Nob Hill,” attracting young professionals and infusing the area with an economic boost. The 11-acre development will include a Marriott Springhill Suites Hotel, parking garage, retail stores and restaurants. The apartments, which have yet to be named, will have some of the city's highest rents, with some of the larger units going for as high as $2,500 a month. Construction on the Highlands is slated to begin this summer.
N.M. Leads in National Childcare Assistance
A new report finds New Mexico to be one of the leading states in providing childcare assistance. According to the 2016 New Mexico Child Care Data Report from the state Children, Youth and Families Department, released earlier this month, an estimated 18 percent of the state's children who are eligible for childcare assistance are receiving it. Only 13 percent of eligible families nationwide are receiving these benefits. The report also found that 20 percent of eligible Hispanic children receive benefits, compared to just 8 percent nationally. The report also found that because of the program, nearly 90 percent of guardians receiving childcare assistance said they were able to work, 7 percent were able to enroll in school and 6 percent were able to do both. One trouble area the report noted was the $9.10 median hourly wage for childcare workers, a 4 percent decrease since 2010. New Mexico’s Child Care Assistance program served 27,589 unique children in 2016, and about 18,000 daily, according to the report.