An NTx employee assembles a bioreactor inside a
glove box in the NTx analytical laboratory in Santa Fe. Courtesy photo.

The Rio Rancho Governing Body has unanimously approved the second and final reading of the Local Economic Development Act ordinance that allows the city to help provide incentives to bring bio-technology company Nature’s Toolbox Inc. to town.

The vote came during a 10-minute virtual special meeting Tuesday evening.

City Economic Development Manager Matt Geisel said the approval would allow the city to sign agreements with NTx and the State of New Mexico. The city is set to provide up to $500,000 and the state up to $5 million to NTx in return for the company moving to Rio Rancho, spending $17 million to upgrade its new facility in Enchanted Hills and bringing in up to 116 jobs with an average salary of $74,000 a year over 10 years.

Nature’s Toolbox is moving from Santa Fe Community College to the former Stolar Research building at 7701 Innovation Way.

Geisel said NTx would receive money in multiple payments, mostly when, and if, it met performance-based goals. The company will have to repay money, with the amount depending on the situation, if it ceases operations in five years or fails to meet goals.

He also said the governing body would vote on an industrial revenue bond for the company at its Jan. 14 meeting. IRBs provide funding for development or expansion of private companies, and local governments act as a conduit for the money but assume no debt or expense from the bond.

Two special meetings of the governing body to address the LEDA agreements have allowed NTx to move forward faster, Geisel said.

“I don’t want to speak on behalf of the company, but I believe they’re very appreciative of our efforts to have this special meeting to help them tackle their time line in the manner as aggressive as possible for them to meet their goals in business growth, which obviously is a good thing for us, because it gets them to our community that much faster, creating jobs for us,” he said.