Sandoval Signpost


An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Public Safety

ESCAFCA starts two flood control projects

—Town of Bernalillo

On October 25, 2012, ESCAFCA held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Athena Pond and Collection System. ESCAFCA Chairman Sal Reyes, Mayor Jack Torres, Dan Aguirre of Wilson and Company Engineers, and H.T. Johnson , VP of Salls Brothers Construction, turned the first shovel-full of dirt to begin digging a hole in the ground which will trap stormwater and also become a town park.

Salls Brothers was the low bidder at $926,000 to remove some 27,000 cubic yards of dirt, leaving a two-level hole which will be seeded and ready for landscaping as a park and playground. In addition, about a half mile of storm drain will be installed in Athena Avenue and Loop, Carolina Drive, and Mountain View Drive. The storm drain work should be complete before Christmas, and the overall project in late January.

ESCAFCA also started work on the South Hill Pond, being built by CBKN Dirtworks, who won the job with a low bid of $284,000. This pond is on County-owned property just east of South Hill Road, and will also be complete in January.

Additionally, ESCAFCA recently signed cost-sharing agreements with the Army Corps of Engineers to begin investigation of the spoilbank levee along the Rio Grande, hopefully leading to improvements or reconstruction which will protect Bernalillo and remove hundreds of properties from the floodplain. Residents will see a drill rig in December taking borings on the levee north and south of Highway 550.

All three projects are ESCAFCA’s first and are using money from 2008 and 2011 bond sales.

The twelve Firewise days —holiday season tips

—Vicki Gottlieb

  1. Make sure your house number is still visible after you decorate.
  2. While you are on the ladder putting up the lights—check to make sure gutters are clean.
  3. When hanging stockings on the mantel, make sure they are well away from open flames.
  4. Rakes and shovels are handy Firewise tools and make great gifts.
  5. Remember to properly dispose of hot ashes from the fireplace.
  6. Clean your chimney each year.
  7. Make sure your chimney has a spark arrester.
  8. Be aware of red flag warnings—they indicate high risk for wildfire. Check Cibola National Forest Alerts Website: .
  9. Check the website: for open burning information before doing any open burning and to determine if you need a permit.
  10. Move your firewood away from the house when fire danger is high.
  11. Make it easy for Santa and clear any overhanging branches from your roof.
  12. Clean your yard of dead leaves, branches and debris, especially near your house and under any overhangs or decks.

Start your winter clean-up now for Firewise Community Chipper Day coming in the Spring of 2013.

To learn more about making Placitas a Firewise Community, contact Vicki Gottlieb at, or 404-8022, or visit

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

—Lawrence M. Lujan

Santa Fe National Forest offices and various vendors in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Pecos, and Las Vegas began selling personal-use Christmas tree permits for $10 on November 19 and will do so until December 24.

Permits can be purchased at: Los Alamos Historic Society & Gift Shop, REI, Pecos Canyon Station, Griego’s Market, Pancho’s Minute Men Shell Station, or Laguna Vista Quick-Stop.

Be sure to be prepared for winter weather when collecting. Roads can be wet, muddy, or snowy. Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Winter storms can occur suddenly. If one comes up, start heading home. As a minimum, we suggest you take the following items with you: tire chains, tow chain, first aid kit, warm clothing, shovel, full gas tank, matches or flares, and a flashlight.

Don’t rely on your cellphone, as it may not work in many areas of the forest. We suggest you consider the Weather Ready Driving Safety Tips provided through the Weather Channel:   

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