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Keller Administration Proposes Infrastructure Investments in COVID-19 Recovery

2021 G.O. Bond Projects aimed at public safety, quality of life infrastructure, shoring up safety net for working families – all without raising taxes

ALBUQUERQUE – Mayor Tim Keller’s 2021 General Obligation (G.O.) Bond Package, sent to the City Council for consideration today, prioritizes aiding the City’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved by voters this fall, it will invest approximately $140 million in making Albuquerque safer, boosting an economy in recovery, repaving roads and breaking the traffic gridlock, shoring up the safety net for hard-working families, and more.

“Every two years, voters literally get to play a role in deciding where the City will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in our community. This year, these projects take on a central role in making post-COVID Albuquerque a place where hard-working families can get ahead and kids can grow up safely and have opportunities right here at home,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

The Mayor unveiled the bond proposal from the possible site of the Albuquerque Community Safety Department’s (ACS) headquarters, at Kathryn and San Mateo. ACS is a ground-breaking new department that transforms the City’s approach to public safety and put Albuquerque at the forefront of a national conversation around policing, race, and equity. ACS staff will serve alongside the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue to deliver a civilian-staffed, public health approach to safety. The department will give 9-1-1 dispatch an option when a community safety response is more appropriate than a paramedic, firefighter, or armed police officer.

“Creating the ACS is a bold step to help Albuquerque elevate a public health approach in emergency response. We want to send the right resource to the right call—especially where a social worker or trained professional can de-escalate situations and connect people with the services they need. It’s a first-of-its kind approach, and it’s taking a huge step forward today,” said Mayor Keller.

“We couldn't be more excited to create a home base for the Community Safety Department,” said ACS Coordinator Mariella Ruiz-Angel.  “Not only has this administration demonstrated support for such a grandiose idea, it is putting into action its commitment by resourcing the department with a dedicated location.”

The administration proposal also invests approximately $15 million in solving problems that matter to Albuquerque families, including housing and homelessness. Mayor Keller is proposing to add an additional $3.3 million in funding for affordable housing, on top of efforts last year to secure $2.5 million from the state, as well as the $6.8 million currently allocated to affordable housing.

Mayor Keller said, “Our pandemic response put the most vulnerable first. Now, we’re making sure no one falls through the cracks of the recovery, either. With the funding we included here plus what we’ve added in the last year, there is more than $10 million in the pipeline for affordable housing, with more options for families than ever, at a time when they are needed more than ever.”

The bond proposal also allocates $2 million to get the proposed Metro Gateway Facility, a one-stop resources for emergency shelter and services to get local residents off the streets and into permanent housing, up to speed. General Obligation Bonds are secured by the City of Albuquerque existing tax revenue, so they do not raise taxes.

"Voters get the final say on how we spend our bond money and I can't think of a more important investment than down payments on our new public safety strategies," said City Councilor Pat Davis. "The residents of the International District, for example, have been working with my office and the city for more than 5 years to transform this site from one of our highest crime spots to a site for community empowerment. It's just one of the dozens of great projects in the proposed package."

“COVID shed light on the profound impact communities of color have faced during this unprecedented time, not just in health but in infrastructure and justice as well.  As we move forward, we must make investments in our community through a collective lens to ensure equity for communities most in need throughout our wonderful city.  I look forward to working with Mayor Keller, Councilors and Council Staff develop the Capital Improvement Plan.”  Said City Councilor Pena. 

2021 G.O. Bond Proposed Projects Highlights:

  • $28.4 million for Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue
    • Major investment in the Southeast Area Command - $9 million
    • New vehicles and needed facility repair for APD - $2 million
    • Building Fire Station 12 to increase response times in the International District - $4 million
    • SE Regional Public Safety Center - $7 million
  • $25 million to improve streets across Albuquerque
    • Expansion of McMahon Boulevard NW - $3 million
    • Citywide Median & Interstate landscaping - $2.5 million
    • Citywide Storm Drainage Improvements - $4.8 million
  • $17.3 million to ramp up the City’s efforts to address homelessness and youth programming
    • Boosting the City’s Affordable Housing options - $3.3 million
    • Westside Community Center Construction Phase II - $3.5 million
    • Renovations needed to get the Gateway Center off the ground - $2 million
  • $4.5 million to aide in economic recovery due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Continued investment in revitalizing the Railyards - $2.5 million
    • Metropolitan Redevelopment Improvements in historical areas of the city - $2 million
  • $16.4 million investments into Parks and Recreation
    • Wells Park ‘Walker’ property Buildout - $4 million
    • Golf Course Improvements - $1 million
    • Regional Park Facilities Development & Renovations - $1.2 million
    • Indoor Sports Complex - $2.25 million
  • $7.7 million for Libraries, Museum Facilities and Historical Landmarks
    • Library Materials - $2.5 million
    • KiMo Theatre Remodel and Repair - $500,000
    • Preserving historical collections at the Albuquerque Museum - $875,000
  • $9 million to support Albuquerque Seniors
    • Cibola Loop Multigenerational Center - $6 million
  • Art, Open Space and Energy Conservation
    • Councilor Discretionary Funds - $9 million
    • 3% for Energy Conservation Program - $4.2 million
    • 2% for Open Space Acquisition - $2.8 million
    • 1% for Public Art - $1.4 million

General obligation bonds fund a host of capital improvements that directly affect the basic needs and quality of life of every Albuquerque resident. These improvements include critical police and fire facilities, vehicles and equipment; basic street and storm drainage improvements; public transportation improvements; medians, parks, recreational and open space facilities; cultural institutions, including the libraries and museums; senior and community centers; all these capital facilities and more are funded primarily by general obligation bonds.

Voters will have an opportunity to approve these citywide investments at the November 2021 election. Voting yes on these bonds will not raise taxes.

 

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