Community Profile

Cibola County occupies approximately 4,539 square miles in the northwest region of New Mexico, and is the state’s youngest county, established in 1981. It is bordered by McKinley County to the northwest, Sandoval County to the northeast, and Bernalillo and Valencia Counties to the east, Socorro and Catron counties border to the south and Apache County (Arizona) to the west. The county is mostly rural and has one city, one town and 20 localities; the city of Grants is the county seat. This county is home to three Native American tribes – the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo of Laguna and the Ramah Chapter of the Navajo.

Grants and Milan’s elevation of 6,460 feet is a climate that offers an average high of 70 degrees with a low of 42 degrees at night. The cities are located at the foot of Mt. Taylor, an inactive stratovolcano, which was named in 1849 for then president Zachary Taylor. It is the highest point of the San Mateo Mountains and in the Cibola National Forest at 11, 301 feet. This peak can be seen throughout the mountainous region and provides irrigation water for ranchers, farmers and the pueblos. The region offers scenic vistas of mountains and mesas, historical attractions, a national forest, national monuments, state parks, and many forms of outdoor recreation. It also plays a key role in the mining and forest restoration industries as well.

Cibola County, NM

Population

Total Population

25,944

Population
Growth Rate

-0.51%

Median Age

38

Diversity Index

82.400

Quality of Life

Education

The Grants-Cibola County School District encompasses all of Cibola County. The City of Grants, Village of Milan and communities on their periphery constitute the urban area of the district. Acoma and Laguna Pueblos on the east side of the district contain many individual communities served by the district. The district includes the Ramah Chapter of the Navajo on the southwest side of the county, however, the district has a transportation agreement with Gallup/McKinley County Schools to bus students to public schools in Ramah. The Pine Hill Bureau of Indian Affairs K-12 Boarding School also serves residents in this area. The Zuni Mountains and Mt. Taylor units of the Cibola National Forest constitute a large portion of the district. Schools in the district are as follows:

SchoolTotal EnrollmentSchoolEnrollment
Bluewater Elem89Laguna/Acoma Mid/HS491
Cubero Elem197Los Alamitos Mid332
Mesa View Elem463Grants HS912
Milan Elem554  
Mt. Taylor Elem511  
San Rafael Elem67  
Seboyeta Elem60  

 

Health Care

Cibola General Hospital is a modern 50,000 sq. ft., 25-bed acute care hospital offering on-site general surgery, 24-hour emergency care, intensive care nursing, internal medicine, obstetrics, pathology, pediatric dentistry, podiatry, primary care, and radiology services. The hospital has a helipad on site and air ambulance service is available through Grants/Milan Airport. Currently under construction is a new medical office complex that will allow for more doctors in the area. Acoma Canoncito Laguna Hospital (ACL), located in Acoma, is operated by Indian Health Services.

Housing

Cibola County housing is predominately single-family, detached units with over 77% of families owning their home. Multi-unit structures account for only 9.5%. Housing can be purchased from $30,000 to $300,000 for custom ranch homes.

Local housing availability:

City of Grants - 3,804
Milan - 837

Lifestyle

  • Outdoor recreation - Backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ATV access
  • Arts and culture - Cibola Arts Council, Double Six Gallery
  • History and museums - Acoma Sky City Cultural Center, Grants Mining Museum and Northwest New Mexico Visitors Center
  • Community Events - Mt. Taylor Quadrathalon, 4th of July Parade & Rodeos, Fire & Ice Bike Rally, Tour de Acoma, Christmas Parade of Lights
  • National monuments and State Parks - Acoma Sky City, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Cibola National Forest, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, El Malpais National Monument, El Morro National Monument, Bluewater State Park, and Ice Cave & Bandera Volcano
  • National Register of Historic Places in Cibola County – Acoma Curio Shop, San Fidel; Bowlin’s Old Crater Trading Post, Bluewater; Candelaria Pueblo, Grants; Route 66 Rural Historic District-Laguna to McCartys, Cubero; Route 66-State maintained from McCartys to Grants, Grants; Route 66-State maintained from Milan to Continental Divide, Continental Divide; Zuni-Cibola Complex, Zuni Pueblo
  • Village of Milan offers a natatorium, a multi-purpose gymnasium, two community rooms (accommodating 250 and 125 people respectively) and three parks.
  • City of Grants offers a community college, a public library, a senior citizens center, an art gallery, a museum, two sports complexes, 10 parks and picnic areas, a skate park, a rollerskating rink, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and an 18-hole golf course for public use just off Interstate 40.
  • Cibola County offers two full service casinos at the Pueblos of Acoma and Laguna

Housing & Income

Households

8,897

Total Housing Units

11,219


Owner Occupied

6,868

Renter Occupied

2,029

Vacant

2,322

Median Home Value

$104,505


Average Home Value

$136,048

Income
Growth Rate

Median
Household Income

0.05%


Per Capita Income

1.22%

Income Projection

Median Household

$35,695 $36,709


Average Household

$49,371 $52,385


Per Capita

$17,072 $18,139

Workforce

Total Businesses

652

Total Employed

9,598

Workers 16+

9,349

AG/Forestry/Fish/Hunting

Businesses

8

Employed

29

Mining

Businesses

3

Employed

226

Utilities

Businesses

4

Employed

264

Construction

Businesses

24

Employed

190

Manufacturing

Businesses

12

Employed

66

Wholesale Trade

Businesses

23

Employed

192

Some
High School

2,032

Graduated
High School

4,887

Associates
Degree

1,772

Bachelor's
Degree

1,550

Graduate
Degree

677

Average Commute Time

23 min.



Resident Commuters

7,659

Non-Resident Commuters

1,640

Drive Alone

6,516

Carpooled

1,243

Public

36

Work At Home

704

Business Growth

NMSU-Grants offers a Small Business Development Center in the City of Grants. The SBDC is located at 701 E. Roosevelt and provides business plan assistance, business financing resources, and business counseling and guidance. Clemente Sanchez is the SBDC Director and can be reached at 505-285-8221 x688.

Government and Taxation

Cibola County Commission provides leadership for the rural areas of the county along with the Pueblo of Acoma and Laguna Pueblo. The City of Grants is a home ruled charter city and has various business opportunities; Cibola Foundation, Inc. holds the Cibola Industrial Park with existing infrastructure and interstate access. The City of Grants has a master plan in place with Main Street for downtown revitalization and a master site plan for Grants Public Library. The Village of Milan holds 800 acres for the Milan Farm with significant water rights, interstate access and a master plan in place for a vision of a future rail spur. Much of the county’s land is owned by federal, state and pueblo governments, with ownership held by the National Monuments, National Parks, and State land offices. There are three existing land grants: Cubero, Seboyeta and Juan Tafoya Cibola County’s annual budget is approximately $15,000,000, which comes from property taxes and federal payments in lieu of taxes. The City of Grants and the Village of Milan have their Local Economic Development Act incentives updated.  

Taxes

Local Gross Receipts Tax

  • Grants - 8.000%
  • Remainder of the county - 6.687%

Property taxes - Cibola County Property Assessor

  • Residential – 0.008644%
  • Non-Residential – 0.010725%

Higher Education

New Mexico State University at Grants is a two-year college providing post-secondary education and work force development programs in film, mining, nursing and business which match the needs of employers throughout the region’s business and government entities. The campus also offers a GED program, adult basic education services, dual enrollment classes and bachelors degrees through distance education. NMSU-Grants provides a gymnasium, a library, and an auditorium.

Educational Attainment

  • High school graduates - Grants/Cibola County School District 2010 - 723 Graduates on time
  • Two-year college graduates - 2008-2009 Associate Degree 65; No Certificates 68
  • 4-year college graduates - N/A
  • Graduate and professional degrees - N/A
  • SAT/ACT scores and drop-out rate - Total Completers 403 and non 27
  • Educational attainment data is provided by the Census Bureau (last bullet from local school district)

Transportation

Cibola County is in northwest New Mexico in the Colorado Plateau. It is bisected by the Continental Divide where the Rio San Jose and the Rio Puerco run east to Albuquerque; only 1 hour 14 minutes and 77 miles from Grants/Milan. Gallup is 1 hour and 66 miles to the west of Grants/Milan; and 79 miles to the Arizona state line. Farmington is 137 miles to the north and the gateway to the Four Corners area.

Mileage Chart to Major Cities/MarketsDistance
Denver325 miles
El Paso378 miles
Phoenix422 miles
Los Angeles688 miles
Dallas720 miles

 

Highway

Interstate 40 passes through the northeast corner of Cibola County east and west from Albuquerque to Arizona.
Hwy 53 allows visitors from Arizona to pass through the Pueblo of Zuni and Zuni Mountains.
Other arteries connect the Pueblo of Acoma and Laguna Pueblo to Interstate 40 with Historic Route 66 that runs parallel to Interstate 40.

Air

Commercial airline carriers at Albuquerque International Sunport
Grants/Milan Airport offers a helicopter pad as well as a runway for
larger private planes.

Rail Service

Burlington Northern Santa Fe – freight
Amtrak – passenger service out of Gallup and Albuquerque

Utilities

Electricity

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative

Water

City of Grants Municipal Water System

Wastewater Treatment

City of Grants Wastewater System

Solid Waste Disposal

Northwest Solid Waste Authority

Natural Gas

New Mexico Gas Company

Telecommunications

Fiber optic infrastructure is available through Century
Link supported Competitive Local Exchange Carrier.