Should Village government take over Corrales Road from the state highway department? It’s a question that has re-surfaced every few years since Corrales incorporated as a municipality in 1971, and it’s back again. A public presentation will be scheduled for the near future to explain what might be involved if Village officials take up the N.M. Department of Transportation’s long-standing offer to give the road to Corrales.
That prospect was mentioned briefly at the November 10 Village Council meeting during Village Administrator Ron Curry’s report. He tied that possibility to more clarity regarding the Village’s financial situation. “It’s maybe out in the weeds, but I think it’s pretty exciting,” Curry prefaced. “We are getting to a point where we have got a lot of our accounting and finances to a point of reconciliation —where we are looking at fully engaging with our Tyler financial software— and how quickly that can get us to even consider taking over Corrales Road.”
Elected to the council in March, Zach Burkett said he was open to the prospect of Village government taking over Corrales Road, “but my biggest concern is maintenance on the road.” On the other hand, he noted that Loma Larga and other municipal roads receive funding from the state highway department.
Then-candidate Stu Murray, also elected in March, said he thought it would be a bad idea to take ownership of Corrales Road. “It will take millions of dollars just to re-pave it as it is now.”
Tyler Technologies produces the municipal accounting software package used by Village government. Curry said he expects to move ahead on talks with NMDOT on that possibility “sometime within the next 90 days, depending on what their schedule will allow, where they come in and talk about all the details and ramifications involved in us taking over Corrales Road.” Mayor Jo Anne Roake had little to add when asked November 12 for details: “The Village will be meeting with NMDOT next week, and we’ll try to set a date for a public presentation on the topic.”
For decades, Village officials have been reluctant to take over State Highway 448, Corrales Road, fearing road maintenance costs would be unbearable. On the other hand, the community would gain the ability to move ahead with long-delayed projects such as the pathway in the commercial area, speed limits and crosswalks. As in most previous municipal elections here, candidates were asked to explain their position on the Village taking over Corrales Road. In nearly every case, they expressed reservation about possible maintenance costs and liability.