More Than $21 Million in Projects!

Jerah R. Cordova

Belen has completed more than $21 million in infrastructure projects in just over two years. That’s an incredible amount for our small city, and it more than shows how seriously the city takes the need to improve our city and its infrastructure. It’s a long list:

  • $9.5 million to build a new North Main Street overpass to support the Belen rail yard
  • $5.5 million for a second airport runway to support aviation business development
  • $1 million for new Main Street paving
  • $1 million to build flood protection ponding on Camino del Llano
  • $1 million for a new Eagle water tank, providing water to Belen that had been out of service for nearly a decade
  • $700,000 to expand of our wastewater treatment plant to accommodate higher volumes
  • $670,000 for an airport fuel station to support aviation
  • $440,000 for Eagle Park improvements
  • $405,000 for Vivian Fields improvements
  • $200,000 for new Orchard Road paving
  • $200,000 for new Christopher Road drainage and paving
  • $200,000 for park improvements at all city parks
  • $150,000 for new Old River Road and Wisconsin Avenue paving and sewer line
  • $150,000 for additional paved parking at the Belen Senior Center to alleviate the lack of parking
  • $100,000 to purchase and install computer notebooks in all police vehicles, which has increased time spent patrolling
  • $75,000 for new Perizzite Avenue paving
  • $75,000 for new flood control drains on Mesa Road
  • $70,000 for new East Ross Avenue paving
  • $60,000 to revamp the old Belen Armory into the Belen Business Center
  • $50,000 for new Esperanza Avenue paving
  • $50,000 for planning and design for flood control on Barboa/Gabaldon Place

I could go on because there’s been a lot more than this — tons of smaller projects totaling into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and projects accomplished by Belen Consolidated Schools in the many millions of dollars.

And Belen has more projects on the way:

  • $3.7 million for a new main fire station
  • $1.5 million for citywide sidewalk improvements that have been desperately needed
  • $1.3 million for electronic water meters to bring our meters into the 21st century
  • $980,000 for new Martha Jean water and sewer lines and paving
  • $950,000 to bring a city water well back online after years of running dry
  • $800,000 for a new sewer line to support Dennis Chavez Elementary School, businesses and residents
  • $700,000 for new La Luz and San Lorenzo paving
  • $400,000 for additional Vivian Fields improvements
  • $150,000 for Eagle Lane paving
  • $130,000 for Camino del Llano interchange improvements
  • $70,000 for a veterans memorial at Eagle Park
  • $15,000 to repaint the Harvey House

This list will continue to grow. For example, West Aragon Road is slated to begin seeing improvements in 2017, with a full overhaul completed by 2021. That money — more than $2 million — is now appropriated thanks to the city’s ongoing collaboration with the state.

Some people like to grumble incessantly on social media about Belen, putting down their own city in ugly terms. Frankly, I find it sad. But the one thing they can’t claim — unless they claim it falsely — is that nothing is getting done, because big and meaningful projects are getting done and setting Belen on a path toward a stronger future.

The fact that Belen can accomplish such big projects while maintaining a stable city budget with a consistent surplus is evidence of Belen’s vitality. Our city has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. The improvements will keep coming.