ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque City Councilor is pushing to spend more money on open space areas around the metro.
“I think we take for granted the open space that we have all around us,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Renee Grout.
People in the metro have 30,000 acres of open space land to enjoy. Councilor Grout wants the city to spend more money to keep that land in good condition.
“The city’s current Capital Improvement Program ordinance sets aside 2% of the general obligation bonds that are issued every year for open space and land acquisition and capital improvements,” she mentioned.
Councilor Grout said this year’s GO bond budget included 3% for open space. The councilor introduced a bill at city council Monday night to make that spending permanent.
“That amount will generate $6 million that can be used to purchase land or make those capital improvements,” said Councilor Grout.
The original 2% gave $4 million for open space use. The Open Space Advisory Board agrees that funding is important to keep the land in good shape and purchase more property.
“It will be critical as prices have gone up. Particularly in or right adjacent to the city, it has become more difficult to find the funds to be able to purchase the land,” said Open Space Advisory Board member Barbara Taylor.
Taylor said that money would help pay to renovate places like the West Side Open Space Visitor Center. It would also fund renovations of a building at the Tijeras Arroyo Bio-Zone, which the city hopes to turn into an educational center.
“Open space is an invaluable asset to the City of Albuquerque. It is a legacy that we are handing down to future generations,” added Taylor.
Open Space also has its eye on land in the petroglyphs that has yet to be purchased.