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  Around Town

Bernalillo Town Council notes

—Karen Lermuseaux

February 25, 2013

Town councilor Ron Sisneros was absent for the meeting. Public attendance was, again, sparse.

Resolution 2/25/13 was approved, which confirmed that the Town of Bernalillo approves the changes to the Resident Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, a part of the Obama administration’s strategy to preserve public and HUD assisted Housing. This recognizes that the majority of the existing units that were built in 1971 need extensive internal improvements, and all of the housing units need extensive infrastructure upgrades to make them acceptable.

The Metropolitan Transportation Council awarded more than $300,000 for the completion of Phase 3 paving in Bernalillo.

Mayor Torres advised that the Town is moving ahead on the electronic payment system for water bills. Electronic payment would be an option—not mandatory.

The problem with correct address use was noted by Steve Amiot—that south of Hwy 550 is South Camino del Pueblo, and north of Hwy 550 is North Camino del Pueblo. Also, the address on the public notice for meetings does not include the south description, i.e. 829 South Camino del Pueblo. Mayor Torres will check into that issue.

The Valentines Dance was a big success, thanks to the efforts of Jason and the Recreation Staff.

The Flooding Project on North Hill Road has been completed and is well done. Thanks was given to Wade Longley.

Councilman D. Prairie advised me that the park being developed in Mountain View may include a walking trail and soccer field, which I think is long overdue, and would be very nice for the residents.

March 10. 2013

All town council members were present at the meeting.

Two people were hired during the meeting. Larry Michelson was unanimously hired as the Wastewater Treatment Plant Administrator, a position that he has essentially been filling for several months. Kathleen Banks was also unanimously hired as the Librarian. She has her Master’s and is also eligible for the NM State Librarian certificate. It is expected that she will complete that paperwork in just a few months.

Bernalillo Fire Department is putting a used rescue truck out for sale, and the city of Santa Fe may purchase the vehicle. Chief Carroll says the unit does not meet their needs at this time, and would rather sell it than let it sit idle and rust. The money will go back into the Fire Department budget.

Maria Rinaldi gave a brief update on the pending negotiations for a new contract with the New Mexico Wine Growers for the 2013 Wine Festival. Typically, NMWG has collected 15 percent of the gross earnings, but Maria is negotiating to drop that amount to 12.5 percent of the NET earnings. The attendance has been declining for the last few years, and consideration is being given to increasing the admission fee to $15. Residents of Bernalillo would still have a $10 admission fee.

The council unanimously approved a budget transfer that would put a new roof on the senior center. A budget transfer for the animal control department was also passed, to cover the increase in impound fees and disposal fees.

No new information regarding the talks with the Department of Transportation (DOT), Council of Governments, and the Federal railroad people about the railroad fencing concerns. Mayor Torres stated that the staff at the DOT has not been helpful, and he has relayed that concern to Tom Church.

The new fire engine is now in service, and Chief Carroll took everyone out to see it—a very nice truck with a one-thousand-gallon water tank that can pump 1,500 gallons per minute and a thirty-gallon foam tank with 1,200 feet of supply hose and six hundred feet of attack hose. It also has storage with extrication equipment including air bags, swift water rescue and rope rescue equipment, a draft hose, and seats five people with four wearing self-contained breathing apparatus. The truck was picked up in Louisiana and the total cost was $294,000. The truck also has initial medical equipment for immediate response, as well. About eighty percent of the total calls for the Town are medical in nature, and the new rescue truck placed in service in October has been a huge success.

Chief Carroll commented that the upcoming fire season could be severe and reminds people to obey “do not burn” designations by the Town when issued, and also to keep in mind that, living in the high desert as we do, we should always conserve water when possible. The possibility of water restrictions this year is very real

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