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Renaming of new street in Socorro will affect taxpayers’ pocketbooks

Since October 2016, crews have been working to connect Eastlake Boulevard in Horizon to Old Hueco Tanks Road in Socorro. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

A new road in Socorro isn’t even open for traffic yet is getting a name change.

Since October 2016, crews have been working to connect Eastlake Boulevard in Horizon to Old Hueco Tanks Road in Socorro.

The new stretch of roadway was originally supposed to be called South Eastlake Boulevard, but it will be known as Nuevo Hueco Tanks Road.

After the Socorro City Council voted to rename the street, however, additional costs were added to the price tag of the project and taxpayers will be footing the bill.

The name change was proposed by District 2 Councilman Ralph Duran earlier this month.

“It was unanimous (by City Council) to change the name, to maintain the integrity of the city of Socorro as far as the name of the road,” Duran told CBS4 On Your Side.

Duran said he was contacted by several property owners along the new road who wanted to be sure the road is associated with Socorro.

“They though by having it (be called) Eastlake, it would be like an extension of Horizon City,” Duran said.

Duran said those property owners plan on turning their lots into commercial property once the road opens.

But renaming a street is not so easy.

Because the road still under construction, the contract has to be changed.

The cost of the signs will go up, too. Extra lettering, longer signs and more brackets to install the signs all mean additional costs that add up to an estimated $10,000 or more.

The county told CBS4 On Your Side that the project was being paid for with state and federal funds, and that the name change was not part of the budgeted cost. That is why the city of Socorro would have to foot the bill.

CBS4 On Your Side asked Ralph Duran if he knew about the cost and if he thought the name change would be beneficial to Socorro.

“The amount of money that will be spent on a name change is negligible, considering the amount of money we will be getting back in taxes and sales tax,” he said.

Nuevo Hueco Tanks Road is on track to be completed at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

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