The City Council meeting Monday turned into a spirited affair as several hot-button issues were on the docket.
Councilor Dan Lewis, who represents District 5 (Albuquerque’s northwest side), introduced new legislation to re-designate the $750,000 in funding for Safe Outdoor Spaces to provide funding for homeless and near homeless veteran support services.
A proposal of a moratorium for the safe outdoor spaces passed on a 5-4 vote. It prohibits any spaces for at least one year, also impacting pending applications. Lewis said that this type of program in Denver is costing taxpayers $30,000 per year for each tent in their safe open space areas.
The legislation Lewis introduced Monday (R-22-65) would also remove all $500,000 of capital funds that were appropriated for Safe Outdoor Spaces and would appropriate those funds for continued renovations to the Gateway Center.
“As Council is considering the moratorium on Safe Outdoor Spaces, I think it’s important that we re-appropriate those funds in order to get these services to people who need them,” Lewis said. “These funds are more useful if they can be used immediately, instead of waiting for the possibility of Safe Outdoor Spaces.”
R-22-65 will be heard for final action at the Sept. 7 City Council Meeting.