2011 Bond Questions and Answers

How does the city decide where bond funding, if approved by voters, will go?

Bond funding would be applied to a mixture of existing roadway maintenance and improvement projects that address existing and future needs.

Maintaining basic infrastructure in the city such as roads impacts property values and quality value, and is critical for future economic development in the city, which generates revenues for the city that are used to provide public service to the entire community.

City engineers rate the condition of all roads in the city with an assessment of what work, if any, is needed. Based on this information, public feedback, the city's adopted Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan, Governing Body input, and the amount of available funds, a list of proposed projects to receive funding is developed.

If approved by voters, how can the city bond for road improvements and not raise taxes?

If approved by voters, the city can bond for $22 million for road-related improvements due to the pay-down of past bonds.

Approval of the bond by voters would keep in place approximately 2.06 mils of existing property tax, which translates to $5.72 per month for a home with an assessed value of $100,000.

If the bond is not approved by voters, a property tax decrease would be reflected in Nov. 2011 property tax statements.

If approved by voters, what do these bonds mean to the city's overall bonding capacity?
If approved voters, the city would be 40 percent bonded to capacity after issuance of the bonds.

What is pavement preservation work?

During the last several years, licensed professional engineers from the city’s Public Works Department have personally inspected every roadway in Rio Rancho to analyze and measure road distresses, which are flaws in the road such as cracking, weathering and other problems which downgrade roadway surface conditions.

The data collected by the engineers has been input into software developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a rating for each road using a scale from 0 to 100. A road that rates 100 is essentially a new, well-constructed road. A rating of 0 does not mean that the road can’t be driven on, but it’s certainly an indication that the roadway is in need of improvement.

Following the creation of a rating index for all Rio Rancho roads, a plan that establishes the appropriate pavement treatment for each road - so as not to waste taxpayer funds on ineffective work - is developed. There are three main recommended pavement treatment types that are utilized: maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction.


Pavement maintenance is generally micro-surfacing, which is a surface treatment. Micro-surfacing is applied to roads with little to moderate distress in order to extend the longevity of the road between three to five years, improve driving conditions and skid resistance, and protect the surface from additional weather deterioration.


When a road’s condition has passed beyond pavement maintenance treatment being effective, the next option is pavement rehabilitation, which is mill and inlay work and is more costly than micro-surfacing. Mill and inlay is when approximately one to two inches of the existing asphalt is removed and replaced. This type of work adds, by approximately five to 10 years, longevity to the life of a road.

It is important to note that pavement maintenance and rehabilitation treatments do not eliminate all existing roadway distresses. These treatments only seek to improve and extend the useful life of a road, and delay the more costly need of the final type of treatment - pavement reconstruction.


Reconstruction involves removing all existing asphalt to native raw dirt and building the section correctly based on roadway classification. After a road is fully reconstructed, proper maintenance with the other two pavement treatment types is needed so as to be able to fully realize the anticipated 30-year life span of a roadway.

The pavement preservation work the Governing Body has proposed to perform with road bond funding comes from city engineering staff’s comprehensive pavement preservation program.