RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Criticism over road conditions in Rio Rancho has some officials firing back at members of the community, saying they’re doing the best they can with the resources available. Rio Rancho’s Mayor Greg Hull talked about the city’s plan to pave the way for a smoother ride.

“Grow up, we have a great place. Let’s act like it instead of being like little pouty children,” said former Rio Rancho Mayor and now District One Councilor Jim Owen.

In a governing body meeting, on Thursday, Owen had strong words for some Rio Rancho residents who say the shape of the city’s roads is unacceptable.

“I just got an email from someone who says we are not doing anything in District One. ‘You’re not doing anything whatsoever,'” said Owen.

Council members, along with Mayor, Hull said while they understand the concerns, improvements have long been underway. Since 2016, Hull claimed 36 major road improvement projects have been completed, spanning more than 100 miles.

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“I am asking for patience, but I am also trying to remind people that with us investing over $100 million over the last 8 years on roads, we are not sitting around doing nothing,” Hull said.

The mayor said there are still plenty more improvements on the horizon, and the city has allocated around $28 million in GO bonds and federal money that is already covering costs for as many as 10 improvement projects currently underway.

“These [are] water lines that needs to be replaced. These sewer lines that need to be updated. We want to get that done at the same time, so that we optimize the value of the tax payer dollars,” Hull said.

For people questioning which roads are selected for improvements, Hull said it all comes down to population and traffic counts as well as the state of the road.

“The roads in Rio Rancho were neglected for 30 years of neglect to catch up, it’s going to take some time. It is happening, and I ask for everybody’s patience and road projects are coming to a neighborhood near you,” Hull said.