City Council Finalizes $200 Million Bond Infrastructure Plan For Voters Approval; Gibson Gateway Homeless Shelter Renovations Has Tuned Into $73 Million Renovation Project; City Secures $100 Million In State Funding From 2023 Legislative Session

On April 17, the Albuquerque City Council unanimously approved a $200 million infrastructure bond package that will be placed on November 7 municipal ballot for voter approval.  The approval of the bond package took more time than usual as the city councilors went back and forth on various projects reducing and adding to the bond package.  Also on the November 7 ballot will be the election of the  4  even numbered  City Council District  seats of  2,4,6 and 8.


Final council votes were taken on diverse projects such as city swimming pools, flood control projects, animal shelter rehabilitation projects, the new Gibson Gateway Homeless Shelter, the Albuquerque and Unser Museums, and APD facilities,  the rail yard development and new road ways. Projects that the Keller Administration initially requested and then were removed were again restored.

The Gibson Health Hub and the Albuquerque Museum’s planned education center were two such projects that were initially removed and then restored by the council. The council restored $5 million for the future Gateway Center homeless shelter. The council  also put back $2.5 million of the $3.25 million the Keller Administration  had sought for the Albuquerque Museum education center.

What has been revealed is that the renovations of the old  Gibson Lovelace Medical Center into the new  Gateway Homeless Shelter  is now a $73 million project inside the old Lovelace hospital. It was on April 6, 2021, Mayor Tim Keller officially announced the city had bought the massive 572,000 square-foot building that has a 201-bed capacity, for $15 million.  Keller announced that the massive facility would be transformed into the Gateway Center Homeless Shelter. Interior demolition and remodeling has been going on months to prepare the facility for a homeless shelter which has yet to open. Recently, asbestos was found during the renovations and asbestos removal has delayed the project further.

During the April 17 bond package debate, Council President Pat Davis questioned the Keller administration about the Gibson Health Hub. Davis wanted to put the $5 million in Gibson money toward boosting the infrastructure package’s $7.5 million affordable housing allocation. Davis said it  was important so people would  have an exit path out of the homeless shelter and services hub. Davis said this:

“We don’t have housing [for them]. We’re not doing those on parallel tracks, and I think that’s my concern”.   

Davis ended up voting to restore the $5 million for Gibson after finding no council support.

The city councilors removed some bond funding for the Albuquerque Police Department and the Albuquerque Fire and Rescue Department but still maintained over $21 million for public safety projects.  The council deleted all $1.7 million it planned to allocate for new city buses  because the Transit Department has millions of dollars already set aside  for bus purchases.

The City Council  reduced the amount of “set-aside” money each city councilor gets for the small projects they identify in their individual districts.  Initially, the Council wanted $2 million in set aside funding for each council district or $18 million total.   The Keller Administration proposed reducing that to $1 million each or $9 million total.  The council ultimately decided on $1.3 million per District or $11.7 Million total.


The largest portion of the city bond package approved by the city council for voter approval is for $43.9 million in roadway upgrades.  The specific roadway projects include the following:

■ $7 million total for a series of West Side roadways: Paseo del Norte, Unser and McMahon

■ $2 million for the University/Lomas intersection

■ $2 million for citywide Americans With Disabilities Act sidewalk improvements

■ $2 million for citywide street lighting projects

■ $1 million for Alameda/Barstow

The city council also voted to place on the November 7 bond ballot the following:

■ $5 million for a series of flood control projects in Southeast Albuquerque

■ $5 million for the North Domingo Baca pool planned for the Northeast Heights

■ $4.9 million for Little League field rehabilitation

■ $4 million to move the Unser Museum — currently a nonprofit in Los Ranchos — into the city

■ $4 million for the Westgate Community Center

■ $3.2 million for library materials

■ $3 million for the Cibola Loop Multigenerational Center in Northwest Albuquerque

■ $2.5 million to renovate the city’s animal shelters

■ $2 million for the Rail Yards redevelopment

The link to the quoted news source is here:


On April 7,  declaring “We got more funding than we have ever gotten before”  Mayor Tim Keller held a press conference to announce the funding the city had secured from the New Mexico 2023 legislative session.  In all, Albuquerque was allocated $100 million in state funding for some high priority projects.  The funding can be broken into three categories: public safety, housing and homelessness, and  cultural improvements.

The funding highlights Keller announced included the following:


Southeast Area APD facilities $1,500,000 

Southwest Public Safety Center -$2,985,000

Coronado Park Fire Rescue Training and Response Center  $5,225,000

Westside & Eastside Animal Shelters – $1,480,000 

Regarding the $5.5 million that will  go toward a new fire rescue training and response center at Coronado Park, was in August of last year that Keller closed down Coronado Park as the city’s de facto homeless encampment where upwards of 150 homeless would camp each night. The camp was closed because of violent crime and ground contamination.


Gateway Center, medical respite facility, sobering center and first responder drop-off – $9,926,490  According to Keller, the $10 million will allow the city to  finish out phase one of the project  and will allow the design for phase two

Construction of affordable housing – $6,460,810* 

Albuquerque Youth Shelter – $1,558,490

Preschool facility construction for families experiencing homelessness – $1,356,490 

$1.5 million for a youth homeless shelter.


$1.96  million will go to the redevelop of  the now-vacant Walmart on San Mateo and Central. Walmart wants to take six months to try and sell it, then the city can step in and buy it. Keller claimed  the city will  take the next six months, look at the funding the has , work with the community and come up with a proposal.

Facilities for youth programs – $1,091,490 

Albuquerque Museum Education Center – $1,440,000

Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum – $2,223,114

Performing Arts and Education Center -$2,900,000 

Alameda Pedestrian Trail – $3,000,000

Balloon Fiesta Park landing sites and improvements – $7,315,000

North Domingo Baca Aquatics Center – $6,165,000

The link to the quoted news source is here:


$300 million in combined funding for major projects is not too shabby by any means. Now it up to the voters to approve the $200 million in bonds come November 7 and if history is any indication, the funding will be approved.

What is really staggering is the revelation that the Gibson Lovelace Medical Center renovations into the new Gateway Homeless Shelter is now a $73 million project yet nothing is said by the Keller Administration where that money has come from.

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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.