ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The cost of modifying a loud and massive BMX racing facilitycould go into the millions, according to a city councilor whoaccuses the city administration of building the structure at thewrong location.
But Albuquerque City Council President Isaac Benton said he willwait to see what the mayor’s office proposes before movingforward with council action.
“The administration has proposed a number of things, someof which I think will be helpful,” Benton told KRQE News13.
The BMX dirt-track facility opened three years ago near IsotopesPark. It’s one of the largest facilities for BMX bicycleevents in the nation.
City administrators made a bad move by failing to notify nearbyresidents of changes to a site plan approved by neighbors and thecity’s Environmental Planning Commission in early 2005,according to Benton. The original plan had the BMX facility sitting500 feet farther away from a string of homes on Buena Vista DriveSE.
Neighbors complain about a large amount of noise and dust.
“The bare minimum as far as I’m concerned would be aproperly designed sound wall,” Benton said. However he addedhe is still open to the idea of moving the entire facility to thelocation identified in the original site plan.
City administrators estimated the cost of moving the facility at$4.2 million although an independent evaluation commissioned by thecity council puts the cost at $1.8 million.
“It is still a lot of money, but it’s nowhere nearwhat the administration has been talking about," Benton said.
Staffers with the mayor’s office and the Department ofMunicipal Development are looking at less expensive ways to addressneighborhood concerns.
“We’ve got staff looking at an entire array ofsound-mitigation measures to minimize any impact to the surroundingneighborhoods,” Chief Administrative Officer Ed Adamssaid.
So far the plans include various modifications to the eastparking lot, facility landscaping and construction of a sound wallto capture noise. But so far the plans are just a work inprogress.
“We think we can solve these issues without having to goto the extreme measure of moving or relocating the facility a fewhundred feet,” Adams said. “Hopefully within a yearwe’ll have a package of solutions to present to the councilfor their consideration.”
Benton plans on pushing for council action within the nextcouple of months.
“There will be a council action to move forward withsomething,” Benton said. “I do believe it’s apriority because I think it’s an error that the citymade.”
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