The cities with more money in their budgets quoted by Councilor Dave Bency, courtesy of Peter Wells, have one thing in common: They have stores to shop at!
Look in the mirror, councilor; what have you personally done to bring more shopping to Rio Rancho? Instead of bemoaning your lack of funds, that should be your focus.
Granted, the citizens of Rio Rancho shop elsewhere, but mostly out of necessity. We have lived here 42 years; in the beginning, there was nothing. It was a big deal to go “down the hill” on the weekend to shop.
Because of that, most stores stayed down the hill because they knew we would go to them and our population was low, less than 5,000 when we moved here. Now stores aren’t expanding as much, but we still need to convince them that if they opened here, we would patronize them.
It will be hard to change the culture of the community, but little by little, it could be accomplished.
As an aside, I think the big shopping area on 528 at the north end of town needs to do a better job of letting us folks at the other end of town know exactly what stores are there. Did you know there is a PetSmart in Rio Rancho!?