Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

  Up Front

Sandias at sunset by Gary Priester

This beautiful image of the Sandia Mountains bathed in a winter sunset was captured by local Placitas artist & photographer, Gary Priester.


Planners’ recommendations for the Placitas Area

—L.A. Williams, Signpost

Residents of Placitas were given their first look at the initial recommendations by the Sandoval County Development Department’s long term planner, Moises Gonzales, at the November 13, 2008, Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

   It has been proposed that the Placitas Area be divided into six districts: the West Placitas Residential District, West Placitas Rural Commercial District, Village of Placitas Community District (includes Rural Commercial District in Village), District for Canon de Las Huertas / Tecolote, Ideal Acres / San Francisco Community District, and the Diamond Tail Zoning District.

   The West Placitas Residential District, where many of the existing subdivisions already have architectural guidelines, would allow for existing minimum lot sizes of ¾ acre, home based business, and conformity of housing types and design styles in a “southwest” flavor. The design criteria would also restrict manufactured housing.

   The West Placitas Rural Commercial District would place restrictions on “rural” commercial development to two existing nodes (the approximately six acres at La Puerta Realty, and the roughly 12 acres at the Homestead Mercantile – only three of which are currently developed). Additional guidelines would allow the maximum floor area of a commercial structure to be no larger than 8,000 square-feet, and a maximum lot build out of fifty percent. Other requirements would include landscape buffering, a 28-foot height restriction, and architectural guidelines that reflect a southwest vernacular.

   Critical to the Village of Placitas Community District, was the designation as a “Right to Farm” area, and the reduction of setback requirements to 10 feet from all property boundaries and allow for an administrative variance for property owners that cannot meet a 10-foot setback. Due to the diverse housing types, it was recommended to keep existing residential standards and design criteria for the district, and continue to allow home based businesses.

   Canon de Las Huertas / Tecolote Community District also is designated as a “Right to Farm” area. Requirements will include a 20-foot setback on all structures as well as from the center line of a community acequia, keeping existing residential standards, and allow home based business as currently allowed by Sandoval County.

   The Ideal Acres / San Francisco Community District would see the increase in minimum lot size from ¾ acre currently, to a 2 acre minimum. Due to the diversity in housing types, it was recommended that design criteria for the area be kept as it currently, and that home-based businesses be allowed.

   Recommendations for the Diamond Tail Community District would be based on the existing Master Plan approval.

   Although the Placitas Area Plan appears to be a bag of mixed nuts, there were many common concerns voiced by both the commissioners and residents in attendance at the meeting.

   As it pertains to area wide land use recommendations, some of the items that continued to be of great importance to Placitas residents were night sky protection, wildlife corridors, future roads and transportation issues, water conservation and restriction, and open space protection.

   Todd Hathorne, Planning & Zoning Commission Vice Chairman, requested language be added to the plan regarding the need for guidelines on water harvesting and stated, “if we’re going to talk about Placitas, we’re going to talk about water,” and that, “there needs to be a comprehensive plan dealing with water issues in the area.” The Vice Chairman was also not satisfied with the language pertaining to the wildlife corridor.

   One of the recommendations from the staff was that domestic water well usage be restricted to 1/3 of an acre-foot annually with additional restrictions on outdoor water use for landscaping. Some residents opposed this concept, and ask that certain districts not be restricted in their water use. “People living in rural areas want to live in a rural way and I think you may want to reconsider limiting water,” said Placitas resident, Tony Lucero, “certainly to the amount in this recommendation.”

   There was clearly not a consensus pertaining to water issues. “Be careful what you wish for,” said Lew Fisher, from the La Mesa subdivision, “if we run Placitas out of water, we all lose.”

   The Planning & Zoning Commission pointed out that the staff recommendations, thus far, may still be altered so that come December the plan will be in a true “text” format. They would also like to hear about which items the residents of Placitas would like to see amended. “We need to hear clear goals and have clear directions,” said Moises Gonzales, “as we near the deadline.”

   John Arango, Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman, suggested to the residents and Moises Gonzales that, “we do everything we can to have more meetings, to define areas and clarify issues.” There are still vague parts to the plan as it specifically applies to commercial nodes, water issues, wildlife corridors and roads.

   The next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2008, at the Sandoval County Courthouse, Commission Chambers, Room 711, Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo and will involve a review of the draft plan. Individuals or groups wanting to contact Moises Gonzales can reach him at 867-7656 or mgonzales@sandovalcounty.com.

   For more information regarding Placitas Area Planning you may also visit www.oneplacitas.org.

   Once the plan goes into effect, it will go a long way in defining the future of Placitas, like it or not.


Sandoval County finds major regional aquifer

Signpost Staff

Sandoval County officials said initial test results show that a deepwater aquifer in the Rio Puerco Basin contains “more than enough” brackish water that, when purified and refined, can meet the region’s water needs for at least one hundred years.

“I’m not going to use the word ‘ocean,’ but what we found from preliminary results of our thirty-day aquifer test is that we have a tremendous supply of brackish water. Those results show that, when purified, we can produce more than 4.3 million acre feet of drinkable water,” said Sandoval County Commissioner Jack Thomas.

“To put that amount in perspective, the aquifer we have identified for Sandoval County’s desalination project has the potential to produce 43,200 acre feet of potable water each year for the next hundred years,” Thomas said. “That’s enough water to meet the needs of a city of more than 300,000 people for at least a century.

“In brief, we will help meet the growing water needs of the northwest quadrant of the metropolitan area, including Rio Rancho and the industrial development we have planned in the Rio Puerco Valley, for several generations of residents far into the future,” said Thomas, whose County Commission district represents western Rio Rancho.

The preliminary size of the aquifer is based on a month-long test that Sandoval County conducted to measure the volume of brackish water in the aquifer from one of two deepwater wells the County drilled last year about seven miles west of Rio Rancho. The test began on October 1 and ended on Thursday.

“This is a huge and very positive step in the project that I began pushing for back in 2002 and that the County has been developing for the past several years,” Thomas said. “With an adequate supply of water, we can satisfy our existing needs, continue managing our projected growth, diversify our economy, and secure good-paying private-sector jobs for County residents both now and in the years ahead.”

Mike Springfield, director of Sandoval County’s Development Division, said the “highly positive” results were calculated by hydrologists and engineering consultants from data obtained from the thirty-day test. He stressed that results were preliminary and that future studies would confirm the aquifer’s size and water content “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Water from the aquifer will be produced from three joint water claims that Sandoval County has on land in the Rio Puerco Valley that is owned by the King Ranch; the State Land Office; and Aperion, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based developer. Those claims are for eighty thousand acre feet a year in an area extending northward for about fifteen miles from Sandoval County’s southern boundary with Bernalillo County.

Sandoval County drilled two deep-water wells in the basin last year, one at 3,840 feet and the second at 6,450 feet. Those wells identified substantial supplies of brackish water with a total dissolved solid content, or TDS, of about twelve thousand parts per million, or about one-third the salinity of sea water.

“During our thirty-day test, water was pumped from what we refer to as well #6 to measure the effects on the aquifer and calculate volume,” Springfield said. “Based on the results of that test, we are convinced that we have tapped into a consolidated aquifer, or a layer of water that extends underground for many miles.”

Thomas said the relatively low TDS content of the brackish water “makes it very feasible and economical” to purify.

“Action taken by the Sandoval County Commission will assure that the water will be available on a wholesale basis to water companies located in Sandoval County,” Thomas said.

Springfield said the data and analysis was submitted to the State Water Trust Board as part of the county’s application for a $4.6 million grant to design a desalination process and plant that can produce ten million gallons of potable water a day.

“Those funds, if awarded by the Water Trust Board, will be used to design the first phase of our desalination plant so that we can have the water available to residents by late 2010,” Springfield said.

He said the first phase of the County’s desalination project is anticipated to cost about $47 million, including two additional water wells, a water gathering system, and the desalination plant.

The Sandoval County Commission in June created a water company to produce, treat, and then sell potable water on a wholesale basis to end-users in Sandoval County. That company is wholly-owned by Sandoval County.

“The County’s desalination project will provide a reliable and secure supply of water far into the future,” Springfield said. “While we haven’t yet determined the most efficient and effective treatment process, it is our intent that the delivered price of the purified water be price-competitive with other sources of water, especially when you consider the rising cost of obtaining water rights.”

County officials said they were reviewing test results to determine whether to use reverse osmosis technology or other water purification systems to refine and purify the water. Preliminary engineering tests are scheduled to begin in the next two months to determine the most effective treatment process.

“Depending on the type of process we determine is the most efficient and effective, we may need to pump as much as sixty thousand acre feet a year in order to produce 43,200 acre feet of potable water,” Springfield said.

At Thomas’s request, the Sandoval County Commission in 2004 earmarked $6 million for the desalination project from proceeds from a bond issue for Intel Corp. Additionally, the New Mexico legislature earlier this year allocated $780,000 for project-related engineering costs, design, and analysis of the aquifer and water content. County staff and bond counsel, meanwhile, are studying ways to pay the remaining costs of constructing a desalination plant, additional wells, and a water gathering system.

“Sandoval County is the twentieth-fastest growing county in the nation, and our population is surging more than twice the rate of the entire metropolitan region that includes Sandoval County,” Thomas said. “My focus all along has been to help meet the growing needs for water now and in the decades ahead, realizing water is a key component of successful and well-managed economic growth.”

Thomas noted the County Commission in 2006 approved plans for a 3,300-acre industrial development complex and a general aviation airport in the Rio Puerco Valley and “we’re now working with the King Ranch and others to expand the size of that industrial park and help meet the region’s growing needs for jobs.”


Sandoval County Election Results

Total number of eligible voters in Sandoval County: 79,420
Total number of voters in the November 4, 2008 election: 58,746
Number of Precincts Reporting: 77 of 78

Candidate or Issue Total Vote    %                

President and Vice President of the United States
Barack Obama & Joe Biden   (D)             32669         55.70%
John McCain & Sarah Palin (R)             25193         43.00%
Cynthia McKinney & Rosa Clemente (G)             102                0.20%
Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle (C)             118                0.20%
Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzales (I)               370                0.60%
Bob Barr and Wayne A. Root (L)              178                0.30%

United States Senator
Tom Udall (D)                    35306         60.70%
Steve Pearce (R)        22824         39.30% 

United States Representative - District 1
Martin T. Heinrich (D)       5986            55.80%
Darren White (R)       4733            44.20%

United States Representative - District 3
Ben R. Lujan (D)     23809         50.90%
Daniel K. East (R)  \ 17789         38.10%
Carol Miller (I)    5140            11.00%

Justice of the Supreme Court
Charles W. Daniels (D)            39425       100.00%

State Senator - District 9
John M. Sapien (D)    11981         50.30%
Steve Komadina (R)  11860         49.70%

State Senator - District 10
Victor Paul Raigoza (D)    3419            44.30%
John Christopher Ryan             (R) 4307            55.70%

State Senator - District 19
Jason Michael Burnette (D)  678              54.90%
Sue Wilson Beffort (R)      557              45.10%

State Senator - District 21
Jessica Lynn Wolfe (D)   2763            60.50%
Kent L. Cravens (R)     1806            39.50%

State Senator - District 22
Lynda M. Lovejoy (D) 

State Senator - District 23
Sander Rue (R)     2601          100.00%

State Senator - District 39
Phil A. Griego (D)   244            100.00%

State Representative - District 22
Janice M. Saxton (D)   2052            53.10%
Kathy McCoy (R)      1810            46.90%

State Representative - District 23
Benjamin Hayden Rodefer (D)     2516            56.20%
Eric A. Youngberg (R)     1960            43.80%

State Representative - District 41
Debbie A. Rodella (D)    618            100.00%

State Representative - District 43
Jeannette O. Wallace (R)  1122          100.00%

State Representative - District 44
Lisa Cour (D)   9812            45.90%
Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert (R)  11581         54.10%

State Representative - District 60
Jack E. Thomas  (D)   8362            50.80%
Paula Papponi (R)    8083            49.20%

State Representative - District 65
James Roger Madalena (D) 7141          100.00% 

Public Regulation Commission - District 3
Jerome D. Block, Jr. (D)   25370         63.50%
Rick Lass (R)   14557         36.50%

District Attorney - 13th Judicial District
Lemuel L. Martinez (D) 39909       100.00% 

Public Education Commission - District 1
M. Andrew Garrison (D) 3482          100.00%

County Commissioner - District 2
Donald Donnie E. Leonard (D)   7477            55.10%
Kim Rytter (R)   6103            44.90% 

County Commissioner - District 4
Juanita S. Martinez (D)     4873            49.60%
Glenn Walters (R)     4945            50.40%

County Commissioner - District 5
Darryl F. Madalena (D)      6325            68.30%
Leonard Armijo (R)    2938            31.70% 

County Clerk
Sally G. Padilla (D)      32374         57.40%
Mary O. Kwapich (R)   23980         42.60%

County Treasurer
Lorraine Dominguez (D)     32317         58.00%
Charles D. Mellon (R)    23436         42.00%

Retain Patricio M. Serna
Yes            30779         72.10%
No            11939         27.90%

Retain Jonathan B. Sutin
Yes            31114         73.90%
No            10967         26.10%

Retain John W. Pope
Yes            29462         70.10%
No            12594         29.90%

Retain George P. Eichwald
Yes            31904         74.50%
No            10908         25.50%

Retain William Bill Sanchez
Yes            30065         71.90%
No            11750         28.10%

Retain Camille E. Olguin
Yes            30059         72.00%
No            11679         28.00%

Retain Louis P. McDonald
Yes            31781         74.70%
No            10748         25.30%

Retain Violet C. Otero
Yes            29992         71.70%
No            11824         28.30%

Retain John F. Davis
Yes            31798         75.80%
No            10166         24.20%

Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority - Director
Donald A. Rudy   25383       100.00%

Eastern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority - Director
Salvador Reyes  2301            17.90%
Wayne Sandoval 2678            20.80%
Debbie K. Kilfoy 2414            18.80%
Daniel H. Dennison, Jr.   2302            17.90%
Jack S. Torres  3155            24.60%

SSCAFCA Bond Question
For           23675         58.80%
Against   16588                        41.20%

ESCAFCA
For           3438            54.80%
Against   2834          45.20%

Hospital Tax Question
For           28481         53.30%
Against   24939                        46.70%

Transit Tax Question
For           28367         53.20%
Against   24984                        46.80%

Constitutional Amendment 1
For           27076         54.10%
Against   22975                        45.90%

Constitutional Amendment 2
For           11563         23.00%
Against   38747                        77.00%

Constitutional Amendment 3
For           36629         74.20%
Against   12761                        25.80%

Constitutional Amendment 4
For           37877         76.20%
Against   11804                        23.80%

Constitutional Amendment 5
For           35241         70.60%
Against   14703                        29.40%

Bond Question A
For           29524         58.30%
Against   21079                        41.70%

Bond Question B
For           26405         52.30%
Against   24130                        47.70%

Bond Question C
For           31566         62.30%
Against   19129                        37.70%

Bond Question D
For           29030         57.30%
Against   21655                        42.70%

**These are unoffical election results and will not be deemed offical until after the State audit.


Democrats rise again in the Rockies

—Rob Saldin, Writers on the Range

Election night was a smashing success for Democrats in the Mountain West. But there’s a big difference between the national results and those that came out of the Rockies: Up until now, the Intermountain West was considered home turf for the Republican Party.

This election, of course, wasn’t the first time Democrats have had success in the region’s eight states. Over the last six years, Democrats have captured several governors’ mansions and a smattering of congressional seats. But what had been a slow and tentative trickle of Democratic momentum turned into a dam-breaking surge last week.

President-elect Barack Obama carried three mountain states—Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico—on his way to a decisive victory. Arizona might well have ended up in his column, too, if it hadn’t been home to John McCain. Democrats also made major congressional gains. Going into the election, the GOP controlled seventeen of the region’s U.S. House seats, as compared to the Democrats’ eleven. Those numbers will flip in January when the new Congress is sworn in, thanks to pickups in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and two in New Mexico. In the Senate, what was a twelve-to-five Republican edge has now narrowed to a nine-to-seven advantage after Democrats took over GOP seats in Colorado and New Mexico.

A bit of historical context highlights the magnitude of these changes. For the last forty years, Republicans have dominated the region. Before last week, no Democratic presidential candidate had won a majority victory in a Rocky Mountain state since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide, in which he carried forty-four states and sixty-one percent of the national popular vote.

In the ten elections from 1968 through 2004, the Republican candidate swept the Mountain West seven times, and during that stretch, the Democratic candidate carried a mountain state on only eight occasions. Four of those occurred in 1992, when Bill Clinton won Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico. In 1996, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico ended up in his column. But all of these victories were pluralities, meaning that Clinton failed to surpass the fifty percent threshold, and they were heavily dependent on Ross Perot drawing votes from the GOP candidates. In 2000, Al Gore won another plurality victory in New Mexico, surpassing George W. Bush by fewer than four hundred popular votes. And that was it for Democrats in the Rockies over the last four decades.

Barack Obama’s victory was different. He coasted to easy wins in Colorado, taking fifty-three percent of the popular vote, fifty-five percent in Nevada, and fifty-seven percent in New Mexico. Remarkably, his margin of victory in these mountain states exceeded his national margin of victory.

The congressional wins also highlight the extent to which Democrats are competitive in the region. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Walt Minnick’s election in Idaho’s 1st District. One of the most conservative districts in the country, it had previously sent right-wing lightning rods Steve Symms, Larry Craig, Helen Chenoweth, Butch Otter, and Bill Sali to Washington. That Minnick could be competitive in this district indicates the extent to which Mountain West voters are now willing to give Democratic candidates serious consideration.

Much of the credit for that has to go not to Obama, but to the region’s Democratic governors. By pursuing moderate, economically responsible policies, Western governors such as Arizona’s Janet Napolitano, Colorado’s Bill Ritter, Montana’s Brian Schweitzer and New Mexico’s Bill Richardson have helped recast the party’s image, partially erasing the stereotypical portrayal of Democrats as irresponsible, tax-and-spend liberals eager for more federal programs. Their successes helped lay the groundwork for last week’s Democratic victories in the region.

The question now is whether Democrats can establish a permanent foothold in the Rockies. The region might well scurry back to the Republican camp once its voters get a taste of Democratic dominance in Washington. Winning an election is one thing; governing is another. Now that Democrats control Congress and the White House, Obama’s post-partisan rhetoric could fall victim to the kind of liberal policy agenda that inspired the Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s and helped Republicans lock down the Mountain West.

If Democrats want to consolidate and build on their recent gains in the Rockies, they’ll have to avoid imposing coastal orthodoxy on the region’s voters. Instead, they’ll have to remember the secret to their success: finding quality candidates like Minnick, Schweitzer, and Napolitano, who are comfortable with and reflect their constituents.


County Line

—Joshua Madalena, Chairman, Sandoval County Commission

As we gather with friends and family for the holiday season, we should also honor our elders and celebrate the historic traditions that are especially memorable for our youth and future generations.

Rush-hour commuters are reminded on a daily basis that Sandoval County is one of the country’s fastest-growing areas. Yet, too, our area is one of the nation’s most culturally diverse. To retain and protect our cultural diversity, we must assure the traditions of our elders are passed to each future generation.

Residents should recognize and celebrate the history, cultures, and lifestyles that shaped our County even centuries before Don Francisco de Coronado first explored the area in 1540. In the holiday season of that year, the Spanish explorers camped near the Town of Bernalillo, which today is the seat of Sandoval County government.

Prehistoric artifacts from generations of our County’s ancestors date back thousands of years. Those ancient finds—combined with oral histories that Native Americans have passed down for generations—have enabled elders, archaeologists, and historians to document and keep alive the cultures and traditions of our ancestors.

Mexican, Spanish, and European cultures form the holiday events celebrated by most County residents during the religiously-significant period that also includes Winter Solstice, a changing of the seasons and year’s end. Yet, other celebrations held throughout Sandoval County are as varied as the music and dance celebrated by native people or the other languages that many County residents speak.

While most holiday gatherings will be voiced in English or Spanish, Native American feasts and celebrations will be expressed in Tewa, Keres, Towa, Navajo, Apache, or other Native American languages that pre-date the arrival of Europeans almost 470 years ago.

The diversity of celebrations held throughout Sandoval County during the holiday season offer residents—and especially our youth—a deeper understanding and appreciation of their heritage as well as the cultures of others. The holiday celebrations also provide out-of-state visitors with glimpses of relatively unknown cultures and the County’s multicultural diversity.

Those cultures and traditions, when combined or viewed separately, make Sandoval County a truly unique and multi-blended cultural society that must be encouraged.

County government, too, has a vital role in protecting and promoting the cultures of our residents. Government must continue striving to provide the best possible services and programs for residents—and at the most efficient cost to taxpayers. Likewise, our elected officials, pueblo leaders, civic groups, and community volunteers must continue responding to the needs and expectations of current and future residents in ways that do not jeopardize the cultures and practices of our past.

We are, after all, truly one people, regardless of our differing backgrounds or beliefs.

On behalf of my fellow Commissioners—Orlando Lucero, Don Leonard, David Bency, and Jack Thomas—I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you Season’s Greetings. I also would like to extend my warmest wishes to newly-elected Commissioners Darryl Madalena of Jemez Pueblo and Glenn Walters of Rio Rancho.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Madalena can be mailed to him in care of Sandoval County Administrative Offices, PO Box 40, Bernalillo 87004, or by email at commissionermadalena@yahoo.com.


Christmas trees available in the Santa Fe National Forest

All Santa Fe National Forest offices and various vendors in Santa Fe, Pecos, and Los Alamos will begin issuing Christmas tree tags for $10/tag for personal use beginning Monday, November 24 and running through December 24. Christmas tree-cutting may begin on Monday, November 24. If you plan to cut your tree on Thanksgiving Day, please purchase your tag ahead of time, as all Forest Service offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. For Christmas tree maps and purchase information, please visit www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/xmas08.

Please keep in mind the following cutting guidelines to help you get your Christmas tree home safely and legally, while also protecting the Santa Fe National Forest.

Christmas Tree Guidelines

You must tag your tree before you cut it. Strip off the paper backing and fold the tag securely over onto itself around one of the tree‘s lower branches. Load your tree so that the tag is easily visible to Forest officials checking tags.

Forest Service Staff may be in the cutting areas to check permits and answer questions. They are not authorized to sell tree tags, so you should have a tag with you when you get to the area.

Cut trees as low to the ground as possible (do not leave a stump more than six inches in height).

One tag is valid for trees five inches in diameter and up to ten feet in height. Trees taller than ten feet require an additional tag. For example, if you want a fifteen-foot tree, you need to purchase two tags and double-tag the tree before you cut it. Trees larger than five inches in diameter and taller than ten feet in height without a double tag may be confiscated and the permit holder may be cited.

Please respect the rights of the private landowners located within the national forest boundaries—cut only if you are sure you are on national forest lands and designated cutting areas.

Avoid cutting in restricted areas, including the following:

  • within all recreation camp areas;
  • within three hundred feet of streams and rivers;
  • within three hundred feet of paved roads;
  • within designated wilderness areas;
  • behind all locked gates; and
  • all private land areas.

Take your litter home with you and remove trimmings from the road to avoid damaging other vehicles.

Safety Precautions

Be prepared for bad weather and muddy or snowy roads. As a minimum, we suggest you take the following items with you: tire chains; first-aid kit; shovel; matches or flares; tow chain; warm clothing; full gas tank; and flashlight.

Remember, winter storms can occur suddenly. If one comes up, start heading home. Let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back. Don’t rely on your cell phone, as it may not work in many areas of the forest. If you get caught in a storm, stay on main roads and avoid short cuts. If you get stranded, stay with your party. Keep a window open while using car heaters.


Pedestrian Bridge

Construction of the new pedestrian bridge in Bernalillo linking NM Park and Ride to the Rail Runner Express

New bridge eases access from NM Park and Ride to the Rail Runner Express

Construction is on-going as part of the effort to link the NM Park and Ride parking lot at US 550 with the NM Rail Runner Express parking lot with the building of a pedestrian overpass.

   The Sandoval County / US 550 station serves residents of Rio Rancho and southeastern Sandoval County. It will eventually be a key station for future Rail Runner service north to Santa Fe.

   The Sandoval County/US 550 station offers free parking. The parking lot, with approximately 191 spaces, is located west of the platform, just east of Camino del Pueblo on the south side of US 550 and connects four daily Park and Ride express buses connect directly to the Rail Runner at the Sandoval County/US 550 Station.

   Passengers can transfer directly to and from the Park and Ride express bus on two morning and two evening runs.

Starting December 2008 (a specific date will be made available shortly), NM Park and Ride will operate under a new schedule that expands service and provides links with Rail Runner Express arrivals and departures in Santa Fe.

   This schedule will provide a wider range of commuter options and enhance the overall transit system in New Mexico.

 

     

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