New Mexicans approve bonds for schools, seniors, and libraries

By Sean Arguello / NM News Port

Voters in New Mexico overwhelmingly approved all three multi-million dollar bond measures on the state ballot Tuesday.

Bond A for senior citizens’ facilities was approved with 68% in favor.   The bond measure authorizes the sale of $33 million in bonds for the senior citizen facilities, construction, and equipment.

Bond A was easily passed by a 36-point margin. Source: KOAT

Bond B for public library bonds passed with 66% yes votes.   The bond provides for $9.7 million in improvements and acquisitions for academic, public school, tribal and public libraries in New Mexico.

Bond B passed by nearly a 2-to-1 vote. Source: KOAT

The biggest ticket measure was Bond C providing $156 million in bonds for public higher education institutions, special public schools, and native tribal schools. The measure passed with 65% of voters backing it.

Bond C was approved by a 30-point margin. Source: KOAT

With Bond C being accepted, the University of New Mexico can proceed with some $51 million in improvements — including $30 million for a new school of nursing and population health. Overall, there are more than 60 projects awaiting funding at colleges and universities in New Mexico.

Bernalillo County Bond Measures All Pass

New Mexico’s most populated county had six bond measures on the local ballot — all of them passed by wide margins.

Bernalillo county’s first bond had a 71% in favor of providing over $2 million in financing for library books and materials.  It will also provide construction funds for the International District Library.  Bond funds are also the only source of materials funding for the libraries.

The second question for Bernalillo had a 76% yes-vote for Public Safety, Fleet & County Buildings.  This bond will provide $13 million in funds for county building upgrades and to replace heavy equipment.  It will include a new downtown parking lot, upgrades to the youth service center, and a new food hub in the south valley.

The third bond question supports Community Services.  With 77% in favor, it will provide $17 million for community parks and recreation centers such as a North Valley aquatic center as well as 10 community fields at Swede Scholer and Mesa Del Sol recreation complex.

The fourth bond question concerns transportation.  With a 73% vote in favor it can now provide $4 million to design, construct, and repair roads, including Alameda drain trail, Rio Bravo Blvd, Isleta Blvd, and Bridge Blvd.

The fifth bond question also passed by a large margin — 76% in favor. It will provide $2 million for storm drain projects, sewer infrastructure, and flood damage control.  These projects include repairs on the Alameda Drain Trail, Bridge Blvd, Rio Bravo Blvd, Islet Blvd, Sunset Blvd, Sunport Blvd.

The sixth bond question gives a look at housing.  Also with a 72% vote in its favor, the bond will provide $500,000 for security, landscaping, sewer and water lines, and a new roof for the El Centro Housing facility.  The bond will also provide $1 million for Albuquerque’s Gateway Center, a homeless facility.

The county bonds do not require a tax increase. It is rare for state bonds to not pass in New Mexico. 

Sean Arguello is a reporter for New Mexico News Port. He can be found on Twitter @arguello_sean and contacted via nmnewsport@gmail.com.