ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque city officials announced the administration’s proposed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget during a news conference on Thursday, September 3. Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair and Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Bhakta were in attendance during the event.
While the city is promising no furloughs or layoffs, other changes are expected. The city expects to save about $15 million with a continued hiring freeze and no raises. Travel and training are also put on hold which is expected to save more than half a million dollars.
“It also means about 50 million new ideas and initiatives and fun things. We were gonna do all over the city, they’re just going to have to wait,” said Mayor Tim Keller.
More than $20 million will be dedicated to economic recovery including small business support and promotional funds for tourism.
City officials also announced their plans for $50 million worth of road improvement projects.
The largest portion of that project would include $12 million that would expand Paseo Del Norte to four lanes from Kimmick to the city limits. Other big projects on the list include $3 million for a car and pedestrian crossing at the railroad tracks near Marquette and 1st Street downtown.
Funds would be appropriated for street, sidewalk, and bike lane improvements along Central between Louisiana and Wyoming. Improvements are also planned for Lost Altos Park, Rio Grande, and nearly $5 million would go toward arterial projects around the University of New Mexico’s north campus.
The $50 million bond sale would be backed by the quarter-cent city transportation tax that voters already approved to extend. This would mean the projects will not raise taxes.