Public Safety Bond

In 2018, Rio Rancho voters overwhelmingly affirmed their willingness to invest in their community. With 73% support, the approval of the public safety bond allowed for the replacement of critical vehicles for our police and fire/rescue departments. These vehicles are vital for our highly-trained employees so they can serve our citizens. It also helps ensure we maintain our Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating of a 2 –placing our fire/rescue department in the top 2% of departments nationally, which helps keep home and business insurance rates from increasing.

See the information below for progress updates. 

Public Safety Bond Question

“Shall the City of Rio Rancho issue up to $4,100,000 of general obligation bonds, to be repaid from property taxes, for the purpose of designing, constructing, repairing, preserving, rehabilitating, enhancing and otherwise improving public safety facilities and repairing, replacing or otherwise improving public safety vehicles, apparatus, and equipment?”

For general obligation public safety bonds ❑
Against general obligation public safety bonds ❑


How was the $4.1 million spent?
•Replacement of approximately 50 Police Vehicles
Estimated cost of $1,913,597

• Fire Ladder Truck replacement
Estimated cost of $950,000

•Fire Engine replacement
Estimated cost of $500,000

•Fire Water/Pumper Truck replacement
Estimated cost of $270,000

•Ambulance replacement
Estimated cost of $50,000
(Partial cost; remaining funding necessary to acquire coming from another already secured source)

•Self-Contained Breathing Equipment (Cylinders) replacement
Estimated cost of $4,470 (acquired through other means)

•Public Art (local law requires that one percent (1%) of the proceeds of each general obligation bond issuance shall be dedicated for works of permanent public art that enhance the environment of the city)

•Bond issuance costs and contingency

*If actual costs are below estimates, additional public safety vehicle, equipment or facility needs (to be determined) would be addressed. If actual costs exceed estimates, some vehicle and/or equipment acquisitions would be eliminated.

What are the tax implications?
If this question is approved by voters, it is estimated (based on 2017 property tax information) that property tax would increase $25 for a $100,000 market value house.

How were these vehicles and equipment selected and why?
Current revenues are not keeping pace with local government’s capital needs for vehicle and apparatus replacement and in particular the public safety departments. Nearly 40% of the Police Department’s vehicles have more than 100,000 miles, with close to an additional 20% likely reaching this mileage within the next year. The Fire and Rescue Department has a water truck from 1989 that is out of service, 1996 ladder truck with approximately 107,000 miles, 2005 engine with nearly 130,000 miles, and a 2007 ambulance that is out of service.

A general obligation bond provides a predictable source of funding, is considered the most secure form of municipal debt, is the most cost efficient form of borrowing, and has favorable terms with no additional security or reserve funds required.