ABQ City Council Should Thank Gov. MLG and 2019 NM Legislature for $63.7 Million In Additional Funding

The 2019 Legislature that just ended March enacted a $7.6 billion state budget, the largest budget ever enacted in state history.

Financial stress over the budget was greatly reduced from years past because nearly $2 Billion in additional revenue generated by the Southern New Mexico oil boom and increased royalties filled the state coffers.

The legislature appropriated $933 million for infrastructure projects such as road and bridge repairs.

State agencies had submitted a total of $543.4 million in requests.

Requests for senior citizen facilities totaled $28.7 million, and requests higher education institutions, special and tribal schools totaled $125.6 million, for a grand total of $697.7 million to address statewide needs.

The approved budget includes $380 million allocated to lawmakers to spend in their individual districts at their discretion.

The New Mexico legislature consists of a total 70 representatives and 42 senators.

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County have the largest delegation in the New Mexico Legislature.

In years past years, Albuquerque has not done very well when asking for funding for special projects for the city, especially during the last 8 years under former Republican Governor “SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED”.


With the election of Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as Democrats seizing control of the New Mexico House or Representatives, the City did a lot better, especially having a Democratic Governor who use to represent the city in the United States Congress.

New Mexico’s budget surplus of $2 Billion no doubt also contributed to the funding of projects in Albuquerque.

During last year’s 2018 session, only $39 million was secured for city projects

This year, the Albuquerque and the Bernalillo county delegation to the legislature was able to secure $63.7 million in funding for Albuquerque projects or an impressive $24.7 million more than last year.

Approximately $54 million of the $63.7 million is earmarked for city government facilities, infrastructure and equipment.

The remaining $9.7 million is earmarked for items such as little league fields and museums in the Albuquerque area such as the Natural History Museum.


More than 100 projects in Albuquerque are included in the Legislature’s capital outlay bill.

Following is a small breakdown of the state funded earmarked projects for the city:

Upgrading the first responder communication network (911 Emergency Communications Center) : $16.8 million

Traffic mitigation efforts around Balloon Fiesta Park including a new ramp onto Interstate 25: $7.5 million

Albuquerque Rail Yards redevelopment: $7.5 million

Albuquerque Fire Rescue vehicles, protective gear and station upgrades: $5 million

West Side Albuquerque sports complex: $1.8 million

Funding for Albuquerque Police Department DNA testing and technology: $4 million

Funding for 14 different little league projects: $2 million

Construction funding for the city’s International District Library: $1.9 million

Funding to the Albuquerque Holocaust & Intolerance Museum: $823,898

Funding for the City/County “Tiny Home Village”: $595,000

Construction Funding for a “bocce court” at North Domingo Baca Park: $147,400

Funding for public murals: $135,000

Funding for a Sandia Vista dog park $70,000

Construction funding for a centralized, 24/7 homeless shelter: $985,000

The amount secured for the homeless shelter was disappointing seeing as the cost of the centralized, 24/7 homeless shelter is projected to be $28 million.

The City officials say $14 million is needed to complete at least the shelter’s first phase and the city intends to seek funding for the shelter in the November general obligation bond request that must be approved by voters.



The next city general obligation bond cycle up for voter approval is on November 5, 2019.

A total of $127 million in projects will be on the November ballot for voter approval.

The $63.7 million in funding allocated by the 2019 New Mexico legislature for Albuquerque capital projects will allow the city considerable leeway in what voters will be asked to fund with general obligation bonds on November 5, 2019.

A few of the largest Keller Administration projects in the latest bond proposal include:

$13 million toward the historic Rail Yards property through 2029. (NOTE: The legislature funded $7.5 million for the rail yards.)

$11 million for various projects at the Albuquerque Museum over the next decade.

$7 million to a new APD southeast substation at Kathryn and San Mateo.

$7 million for a year-round homeless facility. (NOTE: the legislature funded $985,000)

$5.5 million for the International District Library. (NOTE: The legislature funded $1.9 million for the library.)

$5 million in funding for Family & Community Services Section 8 Affordable Housing.

$2.8 million for Community, Health, Social Services Centers.

$2.5 million for a new exit off I-25 to Balloon Fiesta Park. (NOTE: The legislature funded $7.5 million for the new ramp onto Interstate 25)

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A substitute version of the Keller Administration November, 2019 bond package was introduced by the city council containing a number of major changes.

The City Council’s major changes include:

1.The Council slashed the Keller Administration’s request of $7 million for a permanent homeless shelter by $4 million and allotted $3 million A substitute version of the bond package introduced by City Council budget chair Trudy Jones raised it to $14 million.

2. The Council eliminated the $2.5 million for a new exit off I-25 to Balloon Fiesta Park but the 2019 legislature funded $7.5 million for the new ramp onto Interstate 25.

3. The council plan designates $7.8 million for a pair of storm drainage and pump station projects compared with Keller’s $2.8 million.

4. The council plan quadruples the line item for Albuquerque Fire Rescue vehicles to $4 million. The 2019 New Mexico legislature allocated $5 million for Albuquerque Fire Rescue vehicles, protective gear and station upgrades

5. The council plan proposes $9 million for projects not on the Keller Administration proposed bond package including:

$1.7 million for a North Domingo Baca swimming pool
$1.5 million for a Westside Indoor Sports Complex
$1 million Cibola Loop library and
$1 million a West Central Visitor Center



As the saying goes, Albuquerque is the economic engine for the State of New Mexico.

Concentration on capital improvement projects and infra structure needs are always a major need of a growing city and an investment in the entire state economy.

State investment in city projects and city general obligation bond funded capital projects need to always enhance each other in order to get a better return on investment and stretched resources.

The ultimate decision as to what will be placed on the November General Obligation Bond ballot rests exclusively with the Albuquerque City Council.

Hearings and meetings will be held by the Albuquerque Council’s “Committee of the Whole”, comprised of all 9 City Councilor’s, to negotiate a compromise between the council’s version and the Mayor’s version of the capital outlay program to be submitted to voters for approval.

No doubt the city council must now consider the $63.7 million in additional funding from the 2019 New Mexico legislature for Albuquerque projects and make changes to the General Obligation bond ballot measures.

The City Council and the Mayor would be wise to approach individual State Representatives and Senators and discuss what capital projects in their districts they may be willing to help fund with their allotment of the $380 million given to lawmakers to spend in their individual districts at their discretion.

The City Council should recognize and thank Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as the 2019 New Mexico Legislature for their help and financing of major Albuquerque capital projects.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.