Several bond questions on city ballot this year

Posted at: 09/09/2013 5:32 PM
Updated at: 09/09/2013 5:37 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Orange barrels. We curse them but what shape would our roads be in without repairs and improvements?

Voters in Albuquerque’s city election will be deciding on a lot more than who’s going to be mayor and who’s going to serve on the city council. In fact the bond issues, and the orange barrels , may be more important than the politicians.

We’re talking about the streets you drive on, the pool your kids swim in, and the library in your neighborhood. All of those and much more depends on the Oct. 8th election. The biggest bond is for road projects – about $39 million. It includes such things as repaving and median landscaping and new traffic signals. Major improvements to Unser from Central to I-40 are on the agenda, and widening of Osuna west of I-25.

“We’ve got another brand new roadway for the city that will run along the North Diversion Channel,” said city Municipal Development Director Michael Riordan. “It’s called Chappell Road, and it will tie in Osuna all the way to Alameda eventually, and really provide congestion relief in that era.”

There’s $11.5 million for police and fire operations – mainly patrol cars and fire trucks and equipment.  Voters will decide on about $10 million for storm sewer improvements, $12.5 million for parks and recreation projects, $5 million for the zoo and museums, and $5.5 million for public transportation.

Then there’s nearly $6 million for the public library system, with the lion’s share of it going for materials – books, Ebooks, audio books, DVDs and computers.

“We’re spending about half as much on materials per person as the other cities in our region,” said Katherine Yuhas, president of the Friends for the Public Libraries. “That means that our people are getting half as many computers, half as many books, as Tucson is, for example.”

There’s more: Lots of money for water and energy conservation, senior centers and community centers, and some for affordable housing as well.

To view a sample ballot, click here. For the League of Women Voters Guide, click here.