After numerous public hearings and getting input from Socorro residents and businesses, the Socorro City Council has approved its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2023.
The ICIP is the annual plan that establishes planning priorities for anticipated capital projects.
City Administrator Donald Monette said some of the projects are shovel-ready or already in progress, which makes it a little more likely they will get approval from the legislature when it doles out funding during the January session.
He said the legislators put priority on the top five projects.
Topping the list for 2023 is a request for $1 million toward the remodeling of the entire Finley Gym complex. The total cost of the job is $3.3 million. The City has already been approved for $450,000.
“The second one on the ICIP is continuing the paving and draining work on Cuba Road,” Monette said. The City is asking for $1.4 million on the ongoing $4.8 million project to repave the street as well as improve drainage in connection with the railroad culvert.
“That’s a phased project because we can never get enough money to do it all at once,” he said. “So we do it year after year after year. We keep it on top of our awareness list.”
The third priority is a $100,000 planning grant for Sedillo Park Improvements.
“We’re actually in the process of applying for a recreation grant that the state came out with to try to fund that,” Monette said.
“A councilor requested that that be put on there. If we get funded for it that’s when we’ll get into prioritizing what needs to be improved. Things like a new fence, maybe a turf field, those types of things.
“We’ll look at the swimming pool, even though we did a big remodel on it this summer. And then the tennis courts and pickleball court,” he said. “We’re trying to keep up with the times. Everything gets pretty antiquated.”
Number four on the ICIP is funding to upgrade the EMRTC bridge on the access road to EMRTC, a $3 million project. Monette said the bridge has been safety downgraded by the NM Highway Department from 40 tons to 10 tons.
“You know, when the semis going in there with munitions and stuff, we have to go out and open a gate so it can drive through the arroyo to bypass the bridge itself,” he said. “We asked for funding for that through Sen. Ben Ray Lujan’s office, but it was turned down by the Senate.
“We also applied with the highway department again for a grant to redesign it, analyze it, and see what needs to be done.
“Since you probably know with 99 percent of these projects, if they are not shovel-ready or pre-engineered, you’re not going to get funded for them. So we’re beating the bushes everywhere we can get funding for these projects.”
The fifth priority concerns streets in the vicinity of Sarracino Middle School.
“Basically, Gianera, Skylark, Otero and Fischer,” Monette said. “We’re $1 million to try to get those repaved. In that area, there’s a lot of caliche, clay that just tears up the roads. You have to dig it out, and put in a sub base.”
More roads are further down the list.
“It’s actually a request that came from the public. It’s for repaving Leroy, Lopezville, Walkway, Cassity and Mary Place,” he said. “During our sewer project, those streets got torn up.”
That project is projected to run about $1 million.
“With that funding, we can probably do a complete rebuild like we did on Bullock,” Monette said. “Either mill it and overlay it or just overlay it.”
Further down the list are the fiber loop, rodeo arena, and convention center.
“We still have the electricity plan on there because that’s still a goal,” he said.
The now-approved ICIP has to be submitted by August 19 to be considered by the 2023 Legislative Session which convenes on Jan. 17.