Introduction: The Heart of a City on the Rise

Truth or Consequences, or T or C as the locals call it, is a quirky city with a unique name and an even more remarkable story. As the city undergoes significant growth and development, there is no one better to discuss its past, present, and future than former City Manager Bruce Swingle. 

Before he departed at the end of May, we caught up with  Bruce to get his take on the city’s progress and its exciting projects in the pipeline. So let’s first take a quick look at the city, past and present, and then dive into our conversation with Bruce.

City of Truth or Consequences (T or C)

A Glimpse into T or C’s Vibrant History

Long known as Hot Springs because of the ancient natural hot springs which still provide soothing relief to locals and visitors alike, Truth or Consequences got its current name in 1950 as part of a publicity stunt, responding to a dare from Ralph Edward’s Truth or Consequences game show on NBC Radio. Today, the city of roughly 6,000 residents is seeing a transformation.  Infrastructure and commercial projects are abundant and include new roundabouts, extensive expansion at the state Veterans’ home, growth plans for the hospital, broadband connectivity, home building and commercial development.

Turning Point

Truth or Consequences is a small city on the verge of substantial growth. It’s palpable.  You can feel it and you can see it – existing businesses investing in improvements and renovations, new businesses introducing new products and services, and outside investors with big plans. Plus, nearby Spaceport America will soon be a game changer, bringing countless visitors to the area.

An Eclectic Community with Much to Offer

For those seeking a quiet life away from the big city, surrounded by nature and stunning scenery, Truth or Consequences has much to offer. Numerous spas provide access to T or C’s healing hot springs; galleries offer a diverse selection of local art; the downtown brewery keeps things lively with new brews and old favorites; off-highway vehicle rentals allow locals and visitors the opportunity to explore the surrounding backcountry; boutique gift shops abound with an amazing blend of merchandise; and music events and festivals are frequent.

Bruce Swingle: A Man with Vision

Known as a turn-around guy,  Bruce Swingle took the job of City Manager because he knew he could make a difference. His strong management and risk management skills, coupled with extensive experience as county manager in other areas of the state, gave him a solid foundation to tackle the tough issues facing Truth or Consequences and formulate a plan that could be followed by his successors.

Addressing Infrastructure Needs

Over the past several decades, the city’s budget was stretched thin in order to maintain basic needs, such as law enforcement and senior care, while addressing social needs, such as parks and the city pool. Unfortunately, it was difficult to stay up with infrastructure over the years, resulting in some urgent needs today, the most critical of which is water since the city pipes are 60-80 years old. Bruce sounded the alarm at both the state and federal levels as the city currently loses roughly 43% of the water it produces, mainly due to leaks. Bruce’s plan includes a $20 million funding application with the state, which will provide the city with the resources it needs to secure engineering plans and subsequently replace 31,000 linear feet of piping in high-loss-rate areas.  

Funding for the Future

Knowing that replacing water pipes is only one of the city’s infrastructure needs, Bruce  recognizes the importance of a growing revenue stream. His plan calls for advocating for assistance at the state and federal levels every year, along with seeking appropriations.  In addition, T or C’s low tax rate must be addressed.  Bruce feels that residents will be supportive of incremental tax increases because they understand that, in addition to water, the city’s infrastructure needs include electricity, waste treatment, sanitation and roads and must be addressed.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Thanks to foresight and vision by Bruce and his team, there is a plan in place for each  infrastructure category, with a clear path forward for both short and long term improvements. And with city revenues growing, primarily from tourism, and a solid plan in place, Bruce was excited to share that not a single penny will be transferred from the enterprise fund to the general fund during the 2024 fiscal year, giving the city the opportunity to dedicate those funds to infrastructure improvements. In addition, the goal he set for the city is a 120-day cash balance for each of the infrastructure funds, ensuring funds will be in place for unexpected infrastructure needs and emergencies.

Looking ahead.

As he considers the future, Bruce sees ever-growing synergy in the community – a concerted effort between business owners, investors and developers through which everyone wins.He sees a flourishing community, more attractive with an improved quality of life for all. And on a personal note on his last day on the job, Bruce sees himself spending more time with his wife and daughters along with fishing, hiking, golfing, dancing and wood duck carving, a favorite pastime that has been on hold for the past ten years.

PreReal™ Investments: Playing a Role in T or C’s Growth

PreReal™  Investments has had its eye on Truth or Consequences for years and believes now is the time to invest. Having purchased several properties in the area, PreReal  is poised to bring a substantial amount of new business to the area. In addition, PreReal generously supports the area’s arts and culture scene.

Conclusion: A Bright Future for T or C

As the city continues to grow and flourish, it remains committed to preserving its unique history and identity, while embracing new opportunities and challenges. With a strong sense of community, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and a dedication to sustainable development, T or C is poised to become a shining example of progress and innovation in the Land of Enchantment.

As we bid farewell to Bruce Swingle, we are filled with a sense of gratitude for his unwavering dedication to the city and its residents. His passion for progress and his love for the community have left an indelible mark on T or C. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye, but we look forward to witnessing the city’s continued growth and prosperity under new leadership.

In the end, the City of Truth or Consequences is more than just a quirky name—it’s a symbol of resilience, unity, and the power of the human spirit to shape the future. The evolution of this unique city serves as an inspiration to us all, and stands as a testament to the strength of community and the beauty of collaboration.

Together, let us celebrate the remarkable journey of T or C and embrace the promise of a brighter tomorrow. May the truth of its past guide us, and the consequences of our actions today shape a future filled with hope, joy, and endless possibilities.

FAQs

Q: How did Truth or Consequences get its unique name?

A: The city changed its name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequences in 1950 in1 response to a radio show contest.

Q: What role did Bruce Swingle play in the development of T or C?

A: As City Manager, he spearheaded numerous projects and initiatives, improving the city’s infrastructure, economy, and quality of life.

Q: How has PreReal™ Investments contributed to the growth of T or C?

A: PreReal™ Investments has helped fund various development projects while also supporting the arts and culture scene.

Q: What are some of the exciting projects underway in T or C?

A: Some ongoing projects include roundabouts construction, broadband connectivity, Veterans home expansion, hospital growth, home building and commercial development.

Q: What is Bruce Swingle’s vision for the future of T or C?

Swingle envisions a vibrant and thriving city that fosters a strong sense of community, with an emphasis on sustainable growth and cultural development while ensuring a commitment to infrastructure needs.

Q: How can I get involved with the city’s development efforts?

A: Reach out to the city government, participate in community meetings, and explore volunteer opportunities with local organizations and initiatives.

As the city continues to grow and flourish, it remains committed to preserving its unique history and identity, while embracing new opportunities and challenges. With a strong sense of community, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and a dedication to sustainable development, T or C is poised to become a shining example of progress and innovation in the Land of Enchantment.

As we bid farewell to Bruce Swingle, we are filled with a sense of gratitude for his unwavering dedication to the city and its residents. His passion for progress and his love for the community have left an indelible mark on T or C. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye, but we look forward to witnessing the city’s continued growth and prosperity under new leadership.

In the end, the City of Truth or Consequences is more than just a quirky name—it’s a symbol of resilience, unity, and the power of the human spirit to shape the future. The evolution of this unique city serves as an inspiration to us all, and stands as a testament to the strength of community and the beauty of collaboration.

Together, let us celebrate the remarkable journey of T or C and embrace the promise of a brighter tomorrow. May the truth of its past guide us, and the consequences of our actions today shape a future filled with hope, joy, and endless possibilities.


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