Albuquerque finalizes legislative funding wish list

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque has finalized its wish list for projects it hopes to fund with money from the state in the coming year.

Unveiling a “Funding Priorities” report Monday, Mayor Tim Keller says there is about $60 million worth of projects the city considers to be “top priority.” Most of those “top” projects are associated with public safety and fighting crime.

“What we are saying, which is a little different for Albuquerque, is we need investment now,” Mayor Keller said during a Monday news conference.

Of the $60 million in “top priority” projects, the city is requesting $20 million for what it calls “crime-fighting technology modernization.”

“We have been band-aiding the back office problems at APD for 10 years,” said Keller of APD’s computer systems Monday. “We actually have a system now behind the scenes at APD that is probably worse than a paper-based system.”

The city says that $20 million would go into computer software upgrades, mainly for APD’s records and computer-aided dispatch systems, along with upgrades to real-time crime detection systems, like a gunshot detection system.

Other top-priority funding requests include $2 million for APD’s recently announced “Violence Intervention Program,” $14 million for a new homeless shelter, $22 million to widen Paseo del Norte on the northwest mesa, $1.5 million for crosswalk improvements and $500,000 to fund a soccer stadium study.

“To fully fund a serious study that will get us some answers and some direction a professional soccer stadium for the United,” Keller said.

Alongside the top priority projects, the city has outlined around three dozens other projects or areas they’re hoping to attract some financial support.

Two of those requests target Albuquerque’s interstate freeway interchanges. One of the line items requests funds for future on and off-ramps along I-40 on the west side of the city near 118th Street and Paseo del Volcan. The city is also hoping for funds for interchange landscaping, but they haven’t said which exits.

A nearly $8 million request has also been made for the Old Town-Sawmill neighborhoods complete streets project. That money would fund engineering and construction-related work for new sidewalks, road paving, lighting, signage and landscaping in the neighborhoods along Rio Grande Boulevard.

The city is also hoping for more cash for a new police substation at Kathryn and San Mateo in the International District; $125,000 for APD’s mounted patrol unit and nearly $6 million for several equipment replacement projects within Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

The mayor says city funding has already been approved for many of the projects on the list, and they’re looking to the state to match it.

There are no guarantees the city will get any of the cash they’re asking lawmakers for.

“Right now we need some help with core investments and it is going to help, I believe lift up the rest of the state,” Keller said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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