Proposed American Rescue Plan funds could go to city improvements in Albuquerque

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque has a lot of COVID relief money to spend. While a lot of it will go to things like rental assistance, housing vouchers, and hazard pay for essential workers, the city wants to spend some of the money on city projects.

The city is set to receive at least $56 million from the federal government for COVID relief. One item the city council will consider is nearly a million dollars from the fund for a splash pad at Tingley Beach.

“At Tingley Beach, we’re going to look at a couple sites for this feature,” said Dave Simon, director of CABQ’s Parks and Recreation Department. “It could be a terrific addition and a terrific new asset to an area that’s already very popular for families and children.”

The mayor’s office says things like this could stimulate the economy, which is a big focus of this relief money. Parks and Rec say splash pads run everywhere from $650,000 to $950,000 and can boost access to the city’s aquatics program without the hefty cost of putting in a pool.

The city also hopes to allocate a million dollars to improve lighting in the downtown corridor. The city’s Municipal Development Department says money from the fund could hire a consulting firm to improve lighting on streets and alleys downtown to increase safety. Some locals say while not all of the funds are going to traditional COVID relief, it’s a unique way of still helping the city.

“Essential, much-needed support for our city. It can help us make some great new investments and improvements to our very, very popular parks, trails, and open space areas which have proven their value more than ever before during the pandemic,” said Simon. “To help pull us out of the COVID economic downturn we’ve had and outdoor recreation and construction can help lead the recovery from COVID in our city.”

The ‘Albuquerque Rescue Plan‘ would also use $4 million to replace the Convention Center roof and another million toward APD vehicles. The city also hopes to use the millions in funding to boost tourism and provide business grants throughout the metro.

The city council does need to approve the proposed spending. They will go through this again when the next round of stimulus money comes. That’s expected to be another $57 million.

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