Infrastructure improvements at the midtown campus, an expansion of the Santa Fe Regional Airport and the completion of Phase 2 of a south-side park are among five top-priority capital projects jostling for position on the city’s wish list for the upcoming legislative session.
The City Council’s Finance Committee discussed the proposed state funding request Monday and voted 4-0 to move it to the full council, which is expected to vote on the resolution Oct. 27.
An $11 million request for the airport terminal building expansion is the heftiest project on the list. It includes a third departure and arrival gate, a larger baggage claim and passenger waiting area and a new paved parking lot.
City Public Works Director Regina Wheeler said the state funding would help replace a portion of the $12 million the city already has allocated to the project.
The list also includes a $10 million request from the Legislature for infrastructure improvements at the dormant midtown campus.
The city has been trying to set the stage for development at the 64-acre site following a January decision to cut ties with Dallas-based KDC Real Estate and Development/Cienda Partners, which had been selected as the potential master developer.
According to a city memo, the project has received $2.1 million so far, including $1 million from a 2021 legislative appropriation.
City officials also have floated the idea of asking voters to approve a bond issue to help fund the improvements.
A project to spruce up medians across the city also has garnered support.
The proposal would seek $3 million from the Legislature for a median beautification project that would affect about 80 medians across the city along St. Francis Drive and Zia, Cerrillos and Airport roads.
A long-gestating plan to construct a new fire station in southwestern Santa Fe was identified as a priority as well.
The city intends to request $9.38 million for the project.
Finance Committee Chairman Roman “Tiger” Abeyta said the project previously had been put on hold amid financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A $3.5 million request would fund the second phase of work at the Southwest Activity Node Park, or SWAN park. The first of three phases for the 90-acre, $5 million park was completed in 2015.
The city also plans to submit a list of policy priorities to the Legislature.
According to a city memo, the potential list includes:
- The transfer of state land adjacent to the midtown campus in exchange for city-owned property now used by the state Department of Public Safety.
- Legislation to ensure so-called hold harmless payments are not eliminated or reduced.
- Eliminating a 3 percent cap on annual property tax increases on homes that are not an owner’s primary residence.
- Establishment of an additional lodgers tax to help with affordable housing.
- Any initiative that would improve and expand early childhood education.
The New Mexico Legislature’s 30-day session in 2022 will begin Jan. 18 and end Feb. 17.