RIO COMMUNITIES — The city of Rio Communities has a number of projects on its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2022-26, including public safety equipment, upgrades to city hall, pavement reconstruction and parks.

The council unanimously approved its ICIP, which will now be sent to state legislators to consider funding. In all, Rio Communities is asking for a total of $14,444,172 to pay for eight projects through 2026.

The first item on the city’s list is public safety equipment in the tune of a $2,066,488 split between the next four years. The city is hoping to receive funding for solar powered LED street lighting in remote locations, equip two fire department units, purchase a fire department tender and an aerial ladder truck, a mobile cascade breathing air-fill station and compressor. The city also wants to design and construct multiple helipad/port locations for emergency services air transport.

The second priority for the city is designing, renovating, furnishing and equipping the city hall multipurpose complex for a total of $1,700,000. The city wants to replace the entire roof of the building, install a security system, establish a library and recreation center, install a fire suppression system, an electric car charging station and two electronic LED signs.

The third priority for the city is $1,125,000 in pavement reconstruction such as adding new asphalt at Horner and Hillandale, and resurface collector roads that intersect with them.

The fourth project on the city’s ICIP list is $640,000 for roadway beautification on a 1.6 mile stretch of road on N.M. 47 from N.M. 309 to Nancy Lopez. The city wants to be able to xeriscape with colorful gravel, indigenous drought tolerant plants and trees, add sidewalks, walk and bicycle paths, park benches and bus stops.

No. 5 on the list is $860,000 for a parks and open space assessment plan for the city. The first phase is to acquire park properties, then design open spaces, recreational parks, sports fields and walking, hiking and a bike trail system. The city plans to work with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District on the project.

The sixth project on the list is $1,050,000 for roadways, trails, paths and sidewalks around the city.

The next project is to purchase 911 radio equipment for the Valencia Regional Emergency Communications Center. The cost is $6 million, which would be shared by the city of Rio Communities, the village of Los Lunas, city of Belen, village of Bosque Farms, town of Peralta and Valencia County.

The last item on the city’s ICIP list is $1 million for a storm water and drainage infrastructure project. The city is planning to construct a complete, city-wide drainage plan including arroyos, retention ponds, etc., to facilitate future and existing parks/open spaces, trails, commercial properties and roadways.

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.