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Council approved 2 critical initiatives

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Recently, local government wrapped up establishing an operating budget for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Two items I want to specifically highlight that were approved as part of this budget are $3.25 million to fund the extension of Broadmoor Boulevard and $200,000 for funding a new economic development entity. I supported both of these initiatives because they are extremely important for the community.

Extending Broadmoor Boulevard from Norwich Avenue to Paseo del Volcan and the City Center area is something that the city has sought to do for years but lacked funding.

By using accumulated revenues from the Municipal Higher Education Facilities Gross Receipts Tax, improved and expanded access to the UNM West campus is realized, which is an applicable use of these tax funds. Other ancillary benefits of extending this roadway include aiding in public safety response, increasing access to the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center and making this area more viable for development.

Kudos goes to City Manager Keith Riesberg for recommending this project for inclusion in the budget, the City Council for voting 6-0 to authorize and UNM for supporting.

This project is a win-win-win for Rio Rancho as collected tax dollars will get put to use, revenues will continue to generate and be available to support UNM’s goal of adding buildings at their City Center campus in the future, and navigating the community will become easier when this extension opens in approximately spring 2016.

In order for Rio Rancho and Sandoval County to bring about more employment opportunities, expand the tax base to generate the revenues necessary to fund public services citizens need and want, and to diversify the local economy, a unified and well-organized effort must be made. The new city and county economic development alliance that is currently being formed is critical and necessary for achieving these objectives.

I want to thank the City Council for its support of my request to double funding for this new organization and refocusing of efforts. By doing so, Rio Rancho has sent a strong message to the business community that we are serious about fostering economic development, and that we “talk the talk and walk the walk.”

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