Unfinished projects to get millions in federal aid - Albuquerque Journal

Unfinished projects to get millions in federal aid

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Bernalillo County plans to spend more than half of its $131.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds on water, sewer and broadband projects in underserved communities.

The County Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to direct $74.6 million of the federal pandemic relief money to infrastructure. Commissioner Debbie O’Malley was not present.

The allocation includes nearly $54 million for seven projects led by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

Liz Anderson, the utility’s chief planning officer, said the “meaningful and thoughtful” use of federal funds will move several long-awaited projects to the finish line.

“This will help make sure everybody has a resilient water supply,” Anderson said. “It’s also a significant … investment to maintain and rehab our system.”

An $8 million appropriation will complete the final phases of a South Valley drinking water project that will bring service to several neighborhoods west of Coors Boulevard.

Carnuel, a small East Mountains community, will receive $3.8 million for wastewater collection. “It will be really great to get a lot of people off that septic system,” Anderson said.

Other water authority projects include:

• $15 million to repair water and sewer lines that run through Kirtland Air Force Base

• $15 million for an arsenic treatment plant

• $4.9 million to boost water pressure at Mesa del Sol athletic fields

• $4.2 million for Metropolitan Detention Center sewer system updates

• $2.8 million for a wastewater treatment plant for Albuquerque’s West Side

Most of the water authority projects have been funded in phases by annual allocations from state capital outlay or federal grants.

“It’s important to note that what will come out of this (ARPA) is complete construction projects,” Anderson said.

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package in March.

Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada, whose district includes the far South Valley and portions of Downtown, said the funds will “make a huge impact” on local clean drinking water and water conservation.

“We all drive by the Rio Grande now, and look, we have to be realistic about who’s responsible for water, and that’s all of us,” Quezada said.

The commission approved $10.8 million for county-led water and sewer projects.

ARPA funds will help build and improve water and wastewater systems at the South Valley Community Commons, a mixed-use development space at Kirtland, and an arroyo just south of Sandia Pueblo.

Broadband projects will receive $10 million under the county’s ARPA spending plan. The federal money will fund fiber and broadband expansion in the East Mountains and on Albuquerque’s far West Side along the Atrisco Vista Boulevard corridor.

In addition to infrastructure, the county’s ARPA spending plan includes:

• $4.5 million for young adult substance abuse programs and adult behavioral health services

• $7.6 million for the South Valley Economic Development Center, Mesa Del Sol Athletic Fields, Sawmill Center for the Arts, court competency evaluations, a temporary county court facility, rideshare infrastructure and felony pretrial supervision

• $9.5 million for housing initiatives

• $10 million for premium pay for essential county employees

• $18 million for revenue replacement

The county received the first half of the federal money in May 2021. The U.S. Treasury Department will deliver the second allocation in May 2022.

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.


Home » ABQnews Seeker » Unfinished projects to get millions in federal aid

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

Morris Udeze, Lobos pick up individual, team accolades
ABQnews Seeker
Morris Udeze earned UNM's first Mountain ... Morris Udeze earned UNM's first Mountain West men's hoops Player of the Week honor in a few years and the Lobos earned a Top ...
Nursing home found negligent in resident's choking death after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Jury awards more than $750,000 in ... Jury awards more than $750,000 in damages
CYFD facing familiar issues, despite changes and a budget ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some 86% of the nearly 1,900 ... Some 86% of the nearly 1,900 children in the agency's custody now placed in foster homes, other settings
Intersection at River of Lights closed to pedestrians
ABQnews Seeker
Safety measure implemented at site of ... Safety measure implemented at site of last year's fatal crash
More than 150 ABQ shelter pets find homes
ABQnews Seeker
Fees waived for successful three-day Black ... Fees waived for successful three-day Black Friday adoption event
Home for the holidays: Local shops offer gift options ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
"Oh, there's no place like home ... "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays."The sentiment rings true for many si ...
A little pampering: Day spa packages are a ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
When adults reach a certain age, ... When adults reach a certain age, it becomes difficult to shop for them, especially if they come in p ...
Gadgets & gizmos: Sales and deals make big-ticket items ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
With the holidays right around the ... With the holidays right around the corner, it is almost time to finalize those shopping lists. ...
Candies, cookies, cakes and more always welcome at holidays
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Journal Staff WriterChocolate – ... Journal Staff WriterChocolate – some say it's the gift from gods. ...