ALBUQUERQUE, NM – There is no doubt that Coronado Park is now a space for homeless camps.
City officials estimate they spend about $700,000 a year just to clean and maintain the park, including buses and security. These resources come from several municipal departments.
On Monday, KOB 4 found between 60 and 80 tents scattered along the Coronado Park fence. There were over 100 homeless people walking around, hanging out and setting up new tents.
Every other Wednesday, crews from the city of Albuquerque clean up and clean the park. At the last city council meeting, councilor Klarissa Peña asked, “Last meeting I had asked for information on the cost of maintaining Coronado Park and I don’t know if anyone had an update. day ?”
“Including salary, a Coronado Park cleanup costs approximately $950 ODA,” a community safety representative replied.
“I know that when we do our Wednesday cleanups, it costs on average between $32 and $3,700,” Solid Waste Management Manager Matthew Wheland responded.
In fact, seven Albuquerque city departments work together to manage the notorious park every two weeks.
“The data I compiled from Solid Waste, Community Safety, Parks and Recreation, Fire, Police, Family and Community Services, and Municipal Development totals the bi-weekly cost of cleaning up Coronado Park. at $27,154,” a budget representative told the board. .
After doing some math, Peña figured out how much this cleanup costs the city each year.
“So that’s $706,000 a year for Coronado Park,” Peña said, looking up from her calculator. “I really wanted this question answered for Mr. President just because we are talking about budget items.”
The $700,000-a-year price shocked people who live and work near the park, like Randy Baker of the Rio Bravo Brewing Company.
“My instinct was, hey, we’re spending way too much money in one place just to move them during the day while they’re cleaning, then they all move back, then they have to clean up the other land they’ve moved into next door ,” said Randy Baker, owner of Rio Bravo Brewing Company.
Baker says he sympathizes with the homeless population, but says the encampment is hurting his business. He also doesn’t think city officials are doing all they can to clean up the park and help those who live there for good.
“We have a bigger problem than just cleaning up the parks, we need to start dealing with the issues we have in this city and everyone needs to get involved, we can’t just throw the ball down the road anymore,” Baker said.
Now, city officials clarified Monday that $700,000 was just an estimate.
“When we talk about Coronado Park, yes, there is a certain amount of focused work on that park. For example, FCC employees travel to do outreach and communications there, but they do it all city, so I just want to make sure that part of that $27,000 is already the day-to-day operating costs that we’re assuming anyway,” CABQ chief said operations officer Lawrence Raël.
The city says it will have an accurate annual cost for cleaning up Coronado Park by the end of the week.