Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Up Front

c. Jade Leyvais

"Playful Grapes" by Placitas artist Jade Leyvais this year’s NM Wine Festival poster art winner.

The 23rd Annual New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo

The New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo wraps up the summer with the premier wine festival of the southwest. Just north of Albuquerque, the historic town of Bernalillo is host to the biggest wine festival in the state. Lots of great music, arts and crafts, and those summer foods we all love make a perfect backdrop for wine, wine, wine!

During Labor Day Weekend , September 4, 5 & 6, 2010 catch live entertainment and the 20 or more New Mexico wineries that will be present. There will be free wine tasting and wine available for purchase by the glass, bottle, or case. Street and fee parking is available around the festival and lush green grass makes for a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Over 20,000 are expected to attend the biggest and oldest wine festival in New Mexico, now in its 23rd year.


  • Adult Admission $12 (Includes wine glass)
  • Youth Admission (13-20 years) $5
  • Anyone under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a legal age guardian.

Wine tasting ends at 5:00 p.m, and wine sales at 6:00 p.m.

While attending the Wine Festival, if you are not consuming alcohol, the Sandoval County DWI and Prevention Program invites you to become a Designated Driver.

Sandoval County

The new County Court House is located in the township of Bernalillo; on the cusp of the Rio Rancho City border. The new building is better apt to conveniently meet the needs of Sandoval County residents.

Sandoval County is growing exponentially and this new building will meet the demands of the local population growth.

Sandoval County Line

—Orlando J. Lucero, Chairman

Sandoval County Administrative Offices moved into a new building this month which is an historic change for the County’s residents and staff. Sandoval County was created as a County in 1903 and the County Courthouse at 711 Camino del Pueblo was built in 1924 and remodeled in the 1960s. Since then, the County’s population has grown and the Town of Bernalillo’s boundaries have incorporated the west side of the Rio Grande. Bernalillo is the County seat and the new building is within its domain. As Chairman of the Sandoval County Commission, I am proud of our new building for many reasons.

First, it offers the public, who we serve, a very hospitable place to conduct their business. The former Courthouse, though remodeled, did not afford our residents a place to conduct business in private. Paying taxes, filing an assessment protest, registering to vote, or getting a marriage license were usually conducted at a counter in front of others also waiting in line for their turn. Now, you can come to a space where you speak privately to a staff member.

Staff was in overcrowded cubicles or offices. In the new building, staff have adequate space to do their work and to better serve the public.

The former Courthouse will soon house the offices for the District Attorney and his staff that are currently located in two different locations. By law, each county must provide the District Attorney and the 13th Judicial District Court with space to conduct their work. The County has received a Federal Stimulus Grant to make the building at 711 Camino del Pueblo more energy efficient and, once that work is complete, District Attorney Lemuel Martinez will move into it. Other programs that will be in the building are the County Extension Service and the County’s alcohol and substance abuse prevention programs. This Courthouse once housed all of the County elected offices, the District Court, District Attorney, administrative offices, and the jail.

As a young boy of five or six years old, I accompanied my father Municipal Judge Max Lucero and spent many hours in this building. My father would also sometimes serve as the “jailer.” Since he would be by himself all night, and there were Federal and local prisoners, I would spend the night with him as he guarded the community. I felt I was there for his safety and I did keep him safe in my mind. The old jail building survives. Someday maybe it can be a museum or a place to display our history.

With Highways 550 and 528 being the main County corridors, the location of the new building near 528 and Idalia will be more convenient for our residents from Cuba, Torreon, Zia, the Jemez Valley and San Luis, Cabezon, and San Ysidro. And, hopefully, with the soon-to-be constructed interchange at Highway 550 and Interstate-25, the rest of our residents will find the trip to the County Administrative Building a convenient place to conduct business.

The Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer, Probate Court, and Human Resources are all on the first floor. With a main reception desk at the entry, each visitor can find out exactly where the office is that will best address their need. County Development, Community Services, Finance, and Information Technology are on the second floor. The third floor houses the Commission Chambers, County Manager, and County Attorney. The building has a spacious lobby with comfortable seating where customers can wait to be served by each office. The goal of the County Commission is to assure that you and our staff have a secure place to conduct County business, that when you attend a Commission meeting you can participate in County government, and, ultimately, when the La Plazuela project is a reality that we will all be proud of the vision to use this former shooting range property to serve the public.

Town of Bernalillo to begin testing of ferric chloride system at Municipal Well #3

—Town of Bernalillo

The Town of Bernalillo has been successfully testing the use of ferric chloride for the removal of arsenic in the drinking water treatment facility of Municipal Well #4 through May and June of this year. These investigations have concentrated on replacing an existing aluminum flocculation system with a ferric chloride flocculation system. The use of ferric chloride for this purpose is an accepted industry standard. The investigations have successfully proven that a ferric system is effective in removing arsenic and that the results are repeatable and consistently dependable.

The primary drinking water standard for arsenic is currently less than 10 ug/l. According to the results of testing performed by the Town’s engineer, Wilson and Company, the treated water tested consistently below 2 ug/l. During the testing phase, half of the raw water flow was treated and when blended with the untreated flow, the final arsenic level was approximately 8 g/l. Additionally, the presence of aluminum is no longer detected in the finished water. This change in technology is now to be tested at the Municipal Well #3 arsenic treatment facility.

“While the wells differ slightly in arsenic levels and there are some differences in the treatment scheme, we are confident that the use of ferric chloride as a chemical flocculent at this site will be successful” states Mayor Jack Torres. “If this is the case, permanent modifications are anticipated at both locations in the future,” he stated. Upon completion of testing at the second location, the Town will formally request approval from the New Mexico Environment Department, Drinking Water Bureau to modify the arsenic removal system for the use of ferric chloride. Testing is expected to be completed by the end of August, 2010. The Town is confident that the test results will be similarly successful to those at Municipal Well #4.






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