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Santa Fe Richards Ave. Extension Hits Snag

Kevin Meerschaert
The city of Santa Fe is purchasing about 23 acres from the NM Department of Game and Fish for projects including the extension of Richards Ave.

The long awaited extension of Richards Avenue in Santa Fe has hit a snag, but the city hopes it’s only a temporary setback.

The Santa Fe Governing Body held a special meeting Wednesday afternoon to extend a land purchase agreement with the Department of Game and Fish for the Richards extension.

Both parties had agreed informally to the purchase of up  to three-million dollars as the price.  But an appraisal of the land by the city came to one-point 425 million, less than half of the Department figure. Both sides have agreed to an appraisal from a third party, but that won’t be completed before the end of the contract at year’s end. Both sides have agreed to an extension until January 31st.

Mayor Alan Weber says despite the delay he’s not expecting any problems.

“We just have to keep moving forward on the road project,” he said. “This is something that folks have wanted to see happen for quite a long time. It really does serve our transportation priorities and we have to find a way to make it happen. This was a very good offer when it came up and I’m hoping it will work out.”

The just over 23 acres of land owned by Game and Fish is located at 1085 Richards Avenue and would be used as a major part of the project that would extend Richards to connect Rodeo and Cerrillos Roads.

Some neighbors have opposed the project but others see it as a vital part of Santa Fe’s future transportation needs.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.