RC survey asks residents their concerns


With the city of Rio Communities celebrating it's one-year anniversary of incorporation, they are planning for the city's future as they start the process of compiling information for their Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan and comprehensive master plan.

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Bob Skerry unveiled a survey that he hopes Rio Communities citizens will fill out and let city officials know what issues they feel are important to them.

The survey, which is consists of 13 questions, asks residents about specific concerns they believe could enhance the quality of life in the county's newest municipality.

"(The planning and zoning commission) worked throughout the whole winter on zoning and building codes, which have been passed," Skerry said. "We shifted gears … and now we're in the planning mode. The planning and zoning commission is working on a comprehensive plan."

Skerry said the questions from the survey come directly from the citizens themselves. During several meetings over the past several months, the commission compiled a list of concerns citizens mentioned.

"Really, what we're looking at is a list of the top 13 questions, but we don't know how (the citizens) rate them," Skerry said.

Those who fill out the survey are asked to rate them on a one-to-five scale in order of importance. The questions are:

1. Increase public participation in municipal functions through better communication

2. Maintain and support continued diversity in housing/dwelling

3. Continue and expand neighborhood trash, weed, brush, disabled vehicle and scrap metal cleanup

4. Increase public safety and decrease property crime and other illegal behavior

5. Encourage excellence in K-12 education by increasing public awareness and participation in school activities

6. Support expansion of UNM-VC and promote job creation and training partnerships with private enterprise

7. Support economic development, retail business expansion, service industry and entrepreneurial endeavors

8. Encourage industrial park growth through expansion and job creation 9. Start process for recruiting health clinic operator and expansion of health care professionals, medical providers and services

10. Create a recreation program for youth and adult activities

11. Increase hiking trails, walking paths, walkways, bike ways, outdoor recreation spaces (parks) and facilities — quality of life enhancement issues

12. Support community events, entertainment, festivals art, theater and social interaction

13. Improve infrastructure of roadways, streets, highways and drainage areas

"We're putting these out every where we can," Skerry said. "We're even going to go door-to-door asking people to fill them out."

The chairman said they aren't too concerned about carrying out a scientific poll, rather the commission just wants to know what the personal preferences of the residents are for their community.

Skerry explained that the comprehensive master plan ties back to the city's ICIP, which focuses on funding for public buildings, roads, bike ways and fire and police protection.

"It's like going to the bank to try to get money. The state Legislature and federal government has money to fund some of these projects," he said. "With an ICIP, it's like going to the banker and you've already made out your business plan."

Skerry explained that the council, over the next several weeks, will be looking at developing its ICIP, which ties into the city's long-term comprehensive master plan.

"We hope our comprehensive plan will give them some background so they'll have a plan in place when they go to Santa Fe looking for the money," he said.

"What we're wanting to know with these survey questions is your vision, what you want Rio Communities to look like," he said. "The planning and zoning commission is looking 5, 10, 20, 25 years into the future."

The surveys can be found on the city's website, www.riocommunities.net, or can be picked up at city hall, 303 Rio Communities Blvd.

They can be mailed back or dropped off. For more information, contact Marilyn Winters, the city's municipal clerk, at 861-6803.

-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.