New roads, buildings and equipment on track for Taos

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 9/12/19

The Taos Town Council approved the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan Tuesday (Sept. 10) and are ready to get their shovels started on projects. What does this …

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New roads, buildings and equipment on track for Taos

Posted

Correction appended

The Taos Town Council approved the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan Tuesday (Sept. 10) and are ready to get their shovels started on projects.

What does this mean for Taos?

• New facilities improvements

• New emergency service vehicles

• Road improvements

• Playground and park upgrades

The town council approved the 2021-25 capital improvement plan, which was created over the past several town meetings and through coordination with the town's grants and revenue director Lynda Perry.

A capital improvement plan is a type of to-do list for towns which ranks various public projects in order of priority.

Some top-ranked Taos projects

Taos Public Library remodeling, which will see expansions to the teen library, community rooms and an additional resource center. The total cost of this phase one will be $606,000 and is on track for top priority of 2021. Camino de la Merced is another top-ranked project on the plan, with paving improvements to update and fix the road. Phase one of the $975,000 construction project is on track for 2021 and will continue into 2022.Ranchitos Road and Camino del Medio improvements are also on the plan ranked for 2021.Projects on the plan await their designation and funding sources. If the project is deemed eligible for funding, which many of them have been, and received their funding, they move closer to completion.

Other projects have appeared on previous lists such as Kit Carson Park improvements. The park could be seeing additional installations for art and playscapes in the future along with acequia renovations and irrigation line replacements.

In other town business

A plastic bag ban was discussed during Monday's town council workshop. Town councilors supported some sort of reduction in plastic use, but said there was no way to enforce a ban.

"We have to realize that we are the second-poorest county in the state," said councilor George 'Fritz' Hahn. "I am concerned about the process, enforcement issues and staffing issues."

Councilor Nathaniel Evans also expressed hesitation on future bag bans, saying that education rather than punishment is the key to changing the public's habits.

The council discussed Santa Fe's recent ordinance banning plastic bags and directed staff to look into the possibilities. No ordinance or ban was passed during the meeting.

The council also heard a presentation from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Area which will work off of groups like MainStreet and Strong at Heart to try and bring new life to the historic downtown area of Taos.

"The number of vacant buildings is actually astounding," said presenter and former Planning and Zoning Commission chair Jim Pollard.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Area will focus on bringing life to these empty buildings and unused areas.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the town council said Taos was not ready to pass plastic bag banning laws.

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