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Rail Yards project will receive federal money

Prepping the 27-acre Albuquerque Rail Yards for planned redevelopment is likely to cost tens of millions of dollars, but the city is getting some help from the federal government.

The city has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, officials recently told members of the Rail Yards Advisory Board.

“That’s a really exciting addition to the funding we secured this year,” Karen Iverson, manager of the city’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, told the board.

She said the grant will help cover streetscape improvements, utilities infrastructure and more.

The news comes the same year city voters approved $5 million in general obligation bond funding for the project and the state Legislature appropriated another $7.5 million.

A consultant this summer told the city the site needed an estimated $50 million to $80 million in infrastructure, environmental remediation and structural renovations.

“We’ll take all (the funding) we can get,” Albuquerque Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rael told the advisory board. “This one gets us to a really important place, (and) there’s opportunity for us to maybe access some additional funds down the road.”

SHELTER SUGGESTIONS: Albuquerque voters have given the city $14 million to build a centralized, 24/7 homeless shelter.

Now they can also give suggestions about how and where to do that.

The city is inviting residents to a “public information and input session” on the project 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The city also plans to take input online over the next two weeks, though no link has been provided.

As pitched by Mayor Tim Keller, the facility will have an estimated 300 beds and on-site case management meant to link people to behavioral health treatment or other applicable services and guide them toward permanent housing.

Keller and his administrators have promoted the shelter, which his office is now calling a “gateway center,” as the quickest and most efficient way to address the city’s homelessness crisis. Voters on Nov. 5 approved a general obligation bond package that includes $14 million for the project.

The city wants citizens to register for the session by calling 768-3000 or click here.

SANCHEZ SIDELINED: Longtime Albuquerque City Councilor Ken Sanchez recently experienced “a medical emergency,” according to an announcement sent to media last week.

Though he is expected to make a full recovery, it was not clear when he would return to work and whether he would be on hand for Monday night’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Jessica Dyer: jdyer@abqjournal.com

 

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