Proposed bill aims to help manage city’s greatest asset

(KRQE/File Photo) Close up of Albuquerque City Hall Building

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — One local leader says the city needs to do a better job of taking care of its buildings and property. Now, she’s proposing a plan aimed at maintaining buildings and figuring out what to do with abandoned properties, in part.

The City of Albuquerque owns more than 2,000 buildings and pieces of land, both in use and abandoned.

“We have more money invested in this property than anything else that we have,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones.

Jones says these assets are there to make money, but if they’re not maintained, they end up costing everyone instead.

“Everything that we let deteriorate will eventually become the burden of taxpayers,” explained Jones.

It’s one reason why Jones is proposing a bill that would create a new department devoted to managing the city’s property.

Right now, those duties fall directly on the individual department. That means the Albuquerque Police Department has to maintain all of its substations. The Albuquerque Fire Department, Animal Welfare and ABQ Ride all work the same way.

“Do they have the time or the expertise to assess the condition of a roof or a plumbing system or an electrical system, or to assess whether something meets current code? No,” said Jones.

The bill doesn’t just address upkeep.

“I want the city’s real property to represent the best interest of the taxpayers and citizens of Albuquerque,” said Jones.

Jones says the way to do that is to put rules and regulations in place that help determine how to best use city properties — investing in the ones it can use and selling off the ones it can’t.

“Shouldn’t we do something to try to fix that? To try to bring that money into usable money?” asked Jones.

Jones says her idea would not lead to any job cuts.

She hopes city council will vote on her bill in August.

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