ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Election day is inching closer and voters will soon decide on how the city of Albuquerque should spend tens of millions of dollars in general obligation bond money. On the ballot, Albuquerque voters will decide whether to approve nearly $35 million for the city’s parks department.
“We have a lot of needs to stay on top of, and the GO bond package is the single most, critical, reliable source of funding for us to take care of parks, recreation, open space facilities across the whole city,” said Dave Simon, Director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “The money is divided up among a wide variety of things all of which are essential to taking care of the existing parks that we have and then improving them over time.”
About $3.4 million is slated to go to renovating irrigation systems at city parks. Simon said 44 of the city’s nearly 300 parks have irrigation systems that are more than 50 years old. “It’s very important that we fix leaks and save water, our most precious resource here in Albuquerque,” said Simon.
Another $1.5 million would be used to fix up some of the city’s 173 playgrounds, like the one at Vista Nueva Park. Money would also go to resurfacing courts at Jerry Cline Tennis Center and Villela Park. The money would go to new equipment to maintain golf courses, new cart paths at Arroyo del Oso and Los Altos Park, improvements to Balloon Fiesta Park, and improving heating/cooling and plumbing at pools across the city. The city said 11 of the city’s 12 pools are over 20 years old.
The big ticket item is $5 million for the long-awaited pool and aquatic center at North Domingo Baca Park. $750,000 is also slated to go towards park security, for measures like fences and cameras.
“Those are very important investments to make because parks should be clean and safe and we’re working very hard to safety features and security features at many of our parks,” said Simon. He said voters have supported investing in parks in the past and he’s confident they’ll do it again.
“It’s very important that we continue to invest in those things for ourselves and for our children and our grandchildren,” said Simon. Election day is November 7.