Bernalillo County pulls funds from several sources for new headquarters

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County will welcome the public into its newly renovated county headquarters Monday.

The opening is four years in the making. The county secured the building from PNM back in 2017, and went through more than four years of planning and construction.

But this project came with a hefty price tag.

The county originally had a budget of $35 million for the center, but the final price tag came in at almost double — $68 million.

"The reason why it jumped was because of our decision to go ahead and upgrade all our electrical, plumbing, ventilation systems, all our IT systems,” said Julie Morgas Baca, the Bernalillo County manager.

The county used several sources to come up with the funding for the project — general obligation bonds, the county’s general operating budget, as well as $1.2 million in federal CARES Act funding.

The county’s health insurance fund is also helping to run the new employee wellness clinic inside the center.

County leaders said tax payers have no reason to worry, because the county will not raise taxes to help pay for it.

"We did not increase taxes because we were very careful with our spending and conservative,” Morgas Baca said. “We were able to accomplish what we needed to accomplish without going to the public and asking for a tax increase."

The building will open to the public on Monday morning. 817 county employees are currently working in the building.