ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A handful of signs have popped up around Albuquerque, welcoming people to the city. However, the placement of the signs has left some people scratching their heads.
Story continues below
- Crime: Man who cut power to brewery caught on video
- Trending: Fatal Thanksgiving morning crash under investigation
- New Mexico: What you need to know about this year’s River of Lights
- Investigations: Middle of Nowhere: New Mexico’s Multi-Million Dollar Blunder
The five new welcome signs come with a $400,000 price tag, paid for by taxpayers. One of the signs near the South Valley has sparked a firestorm on social media.
“I feel like the sign should be put somewhere else,” Tabitha Gallegos of Albuquerque said. Residents are questioning the placement of the sign just north of Coors and Bridge as people are leaving the South Valley, an area many people claim doesn’t see many tourists.
“They’re beautiful signs and I love art and stuff but we need money put somewhere else,” Jennifer Sena of Albuquerque added.
It’s one of five solar-powered signs recently installed by the city, each with a price tag of about $79,000, coming from the Department of Municipal Development’s operating fund that pays for street improvements.
The other signs are on Central west of 98th Street; on 2nd and Montano to welcome people from Los Ranchos; for people leaving Rio Rancho off Golf Course and Westside, and at Unser and Black Arroyo.
“That’s shocking. That’s not good money spent,” Sena said. Sena and others have lashed out on social media about the South Valley location but not everyone agrees.
“I don’t see the sign as a problem. What the problem is, is people spewing hate, all kinds of stupid things over social media and causing all kinds of uproar unnecessarily,” Dale Deforest of Albuquerque stated.
The city’s Department of Municipal Development provided the following emailed statement:
“Like many cities, Albuquerque has signs up at the entrances of the city, welcoming visitors and residents as they enter. Coors and Bridge is a main entryway into Albuquerque from the South Valley and one of five welcome signs placed on thoroughfares into Albuquerque. The solar powered sign costs about $79,000. The project began about 6 months ago and was recently completed.”
The city says it chose the five locations because they are major thoroughfares and after working with city councilors on where to place the signs within their districts. There are no plans, as of now, to add more to interstates or any other spots.
Mayor Tim Keller’s name is on each sign on a nameplate. Those plates are designed to be changed out.