Wednesday, September 21, 2011
No Pet Projects: New Measured Finance Committee Formed to Defeat ABQ City Bond for Sportsplex
A new Measured Finance Committee was formed today to defeat City Tax Bond 12 in Albuquerque’s upcoming October 4, 2011 City Election. No Pet Projects-Vote No on Tax Bond 12 MFC opposes the $50 million dollar Gross Receipts Tax Bond that would dedicate $25 million dollars to the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interchange and $25 million dollars to a sportsplex as part of Mayor R. J. Berry’s “ABQ: The Plan” initiative.
“We oppose Gross Receipts Tax Bond 12 because it wrongly ties the critical city need of rehabilitating the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interchange to a sportplex, a pet project we cannot afford,” says No Pet Projects Chairman, Don Wencewicz, an Albuquerque resident who lives in the far Northeast Heights. “My concern is that $25 million dollars is not enough to jumpstart the Paseo interchange project and dedicating $25 million dollars to a sportsplex is wasteful spending, especially in our unstable economy.”
No Pet Projects issued a statement explaining that Rebuilding the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interstate has long been recognized as our city’s top transportation need. It is estimated 170,000 drivers travel it daily. Estimated costs for rehabilitating the entire interchange are high. In 2009 the price tag was near $360 million dollars with phase 1 flyovers costing between $75 million to $90 million dollars.
“Traffic congestion is a growing concern for the Westside. My concern is that we are losing the focus of getting the Paseo and I-25 interchange accomplished. This interchange has been discussed for many years and we don’t want to lose sight of what the priorities are in Albuquerque,” said Rene Horvath, a Taylor Ranch neighborhood leader.
In August, City Councilors Lewis, Winter, Jones, Harris and Cook voted against an amendment to cut the $25 million for the sportsplex and appropriate $50 million for the Paseo del Norte and I-25 interchange. Last year the city appropriated $20 million for Paseo and I-25, but the money was eventually used for other projects because the city could not secure county, state or federal dollars for the first phase.
“This bond is not about Paseo or critical city needs, it’s about a sportsplex. Mayor Berry and Councilor Winter have hogtied their $25 million pet project to the Paseo del Norte interchange improvements in order to get their pet project passed. I don’t support that,” said Downtown resident and neighborhood advocate Clark Hardgrave.
No Pet Projects MFC is a group of concerned citizens, taxpayers, public employees and neighborhood residents concerned about spending and taxing priorities in Albuquerque. To find out more about No Pet Projects MFC go to www.VoteNOonBond12.com.