ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The state has a lot of extra money to spend these days from the oil boom, and cities want a piece of it to help fund big projects.
The city of Albuquerque’s wish list ahead of the 2020 legislative session includes everything from building a police station to big road projects. They’re even looking for $5 million to come up with some kind of connection to get people from the city’s most popular tourist destination, the BioPark, to Old Town.
A committee of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials is already drafting a more than $120 million wish list for the state. City Councilor Cynthia Borrego said $21 million would widen Paseo Del Norte from two to four lanes up to Rainbow.
“People can’t get through to their homes, the police and fire are having difficulty getting through,” Borrego explained.
The mayor’s office in a statement said it wants to put the focus on public safety and behavioral health initiatives.
The draft resolution lists $20 million for Albuquerque police for updated technology, and help for law enforcement in combating violent crime, with another $10 million for social service programs and targeted enforcement.
“Public safety is obviously paramount for our city and the homeless issues that we have in the community,” City Councilor Klarissa Pena stated.
Plus, $14 million would match the city’s contribution for a new homeless shelter. There are more lighthearted projects, too. The wish list calls for the construction of a crow’s nest, or a lookout tower, at Balloon Fiesta Park for the 50th Balloon Fiesta in 2021.
Also, dozens of neighborhood projects listed don’t have price tags attached to them, from upgrading the city’s golf courses to adding more splash pads at Albuquerque parks.
“The neighborhood projects are really really important to city councilors and their districts,” Pena said.
She added that the projects and dollar amounts could change before being discussed at the next committee meeting in two weeks. The final wish list will then have to get a sign-off from city council.
The current list has more than three dozen projects that can be viewed here.