County Slithers Fracking Infrastructure ROAD Projects into ICIP Agenda ITEM10 Without Proper Advertisement – Props Up PDV
Elaine Cimino 8/23/2018
Rio Rancho, NM, On Thursday night’s agenda, Item # 10. The ICIP infrastructure projects at the Sandoval County Board of County Commission regarding road improvement in Rio Rancho Estates on Encino Road, Rainbow and King Blvd promoting Paseo Del Vulcan will be discussed and voted upon. These roads and other connectors are the arterial roads that feed to the main roads like Southern, Northern, and King Blvd (s) and the freeway Paseo Del Vulcan. These roads are for the oil and gas trucking operations, fracking operators and to help developers build out Rio Rancho City Center on the backs of the taxpayers, all to push the Paseo Del Vulcan (PDV) (aka Albuquerque By-Pass) with sweet real estate deals on frontage properties this Thursday evening.
It is not just the issue or roads mentioned above, it is the entire push by these Commissioners to fund public roads for private developers in the RR area while ignoring infrastructure needs throughout the rest of the County and also ignoring the public safety issues. The County already maintains these roads as arterial roads. There are more pressing issues for the County than to build out Rio Rancho’s Pipe Dream for Paseo Del Vulcan Albuquerque by-pass.
We obtained the ICIP list despite it not being posted, which shows PDV front and center. Yet they refused to post this list. 2020 ICIP PROJECT CONSIDERATIONS v2 (1)
According to court documents obtained in an IPRA request, the County had required the developers of the Rio West Subdivision to build the roads our to their project in which the County was a partner. However, over the course of the project, it became clear that the taxpayers footed the bill. The Northwest Loop, Encino Road, Rainbow Road and King Blvd paid for the road development out to the Rio Puerco and including the Old Ranch Rd that also included a state land swap with Mesa Del Sol.
What happened was that the County ended up paying for those roads. They applied for funding on behalf of the developers and did a State Land Office land swap and ended up for the County paying for and maintaining the roads. Last January the County allowed a private Corporation to close down the Rio Puerco Road with armed guards.
There is nothing on the agenda that talks about specific on these roads nor a list provided, therefore, we believe this is a potential OMA violation because it was improperly advertised.
Where is the concern for public safety over pie-in-the-sky economic development?
More importantly, this area is where Thrust Energy said in this year’s work session that they would frack. The industry needs this highway for transport. Furthermore, with the Desalination Brine Project wells head repaired the fracking industry may use the raw brine for fracking without polishing it.
While everyone is focused on the oil and gas ordinance these commissioners are busy spending taxpayer funds to build infrastructure for an industry that if allowed to operate would destroy the aquifer, foul the air and impact the health of all residents if not dry up the Rio Grande with direct impacts to the Rio and it ability to deliver water to Mexico and Texas.
Prior expenditures 2013-2014