RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Rio Rancho City Council has voted to defer action on a problem property while they work with the owner on a cleanup plan.

“This is one of the most disgusting properties in the city. It’s been a problem for a very long time,” said one Rio Rancho resident.   

The city’s police department has responded to several calls to the former Jewish center across from Intel on 528, including two fires that led to the roof collapsing.

The building has sat empty for years. On Friday, residents spoke up during a city council meeting asking for it to be fixed. 

“We are the religion that more hate crimes is against than any other religion in the country. There is not a single temple or synagogue in this city but what there is, is a building that says Jewish Center, and it’s the most disgusting building,” commented a Rio Rancho resident. 

The fire marshal and Building and Code Enforcement have issued multiple violations to the building owner.

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Now, the owner has asked to postpone the issue until the next city council meeting, saying they’re working on a contract for demolition. The city said it’s on board.

“This would allow for us not to expend the public’s funds, the public’s money, for the property to come into compliance and the building to be demoed. If the property owner is on track for demolition, we could then look to withdraw this item,” stated City Manager Matt Geisel.

City staff said this allows the owner to come into compliance.

“I’ve received a lot of concerns from constituents, a lot of concerns on this building. It is a building, and honestly, I want to say this, it doesn’t have anything to do with the name that’s on it. It’s an attractive nuisance. It’s attracting crime,” stated Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull.  

City Council will revisit the topic during their next meeting on December 14.