Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Inside Freight House Kitchen and Tap

Freight House bar
Photo credit: —Photos by Barb Belknap

Freight House Kitchen and Tap now open in Bernalillo

Signpost Staff

Many years ago, Matt DiGregory spotted a unique building located in downtown Albuquerque. The Santa Fe Freight House Rail and Truck building was located on First and Central Avenue and was once home to the offices of the Santa Fe Railroad. Thinking it was a very cool building, Matt thought it would make for a great restaurant location. Sadly, being that the building was listed on the Historic Register, it could not be altered in a way to make a restaurant feasible. Eighteen years later, the opportunity to realize the concept became reality in the former Flying Star Café location that has been vacant in Bernalillo for almost a year.

On November 16, Freight House Kitchen and Tap opened during the first snowstorm of the season. “It provided us a nice and soft opening for our first new concept in almost ten years” said Matt DiGregory who, along with Tom Fenton, owns and operates the Range Café. Matt is also owner of Standard Diner in Albuquerque.

“At first, Freight House Kitchen and Tap was going to be a variation of a New Mexican-styled steak and seafood restaurant. I put out some feelers out to people to see what they thought of the name and the concept. Overwhelmingly, the comments pointed towards a brew pub type atmosphere with great food.”

According to Matt, the menu evolved with the help from Range Café and Standard Diner’s Executive Chef, Mike Perseo, and the addition of Chef Matthew Schnooberger who, most recently, was at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya. Currently the menu features bar snacks such as lobster tater tots, homemade BBQ chips with bleu cheese mousse, poutine, street tacos, and fried green tomatillos. Entrees include fried chicken and cornbread cakes, mac and cheese stuffed rellenos, pork chop rancheros, and shrimp and grits. Rounding out the menu are some outstanding knife and fork burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Desserts are created by Standard Diner’s pastry chef Kelly Gee.

The bar features 24 beers and ciders, seven wines on tap, as well as nitro-infused, cold brewed coffee from Villa Myriam. The bar area has a long community table that seats thirty people. Board games are available as well as four large screen televisions.

The large outdoor patio will come alive in the spring with outdoor games like corn hole, ping-pong, bumper pool, and possibly bocce courts.

Albuquerque’s Modulus Design helped design and build the interior, which now has little resemblance to its former resident Flying Star. “Modulus did a great job turning the interior into a very warm and inviting space. I gave them the challenge of creating an industrial, modern feel that gives the hint of a railroad theme without being stereotypical,” said Matt DiGregory.

Freight House Kitchen and Tap is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The website is and the phone number is 588-2143.

Go green: get your property tax bill by email

—Sidney Hill, Public Information Officer, Sandoval County

The Sandoval County Treasurer’s Office is making it possible for property owners to save time, paper, and money by opting to receive their tax bills electronically. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation during the 2015 Legislative session that permits the Treasurer’s office to send the tax bill electronically if the property owner wants to receive notices by electronic mail rather than regular first class mail.

The Treasurer’s “Go Green” initiative was launched at the beginning of the current tax-payment season, which began with the mailing of the 2015 Tax Bills on November 2, 2015. Those bills cover the first half of the 2015 taxes due by December 10, 2015, and second half of the 2015 taxes due by May 10, 2016. Taxpayers can opt to have those bills—and all future bills—delivered to their email boxes instead of receiving paper copies via the postal service.

The easiest way to make that switch is to use a mobile phone or other mobile device to download an app that will scan the quick response code (the black-and-white square) located in the top right portion of the tax bill. That will take you to a portion of the county treasurer’s website that gives directions for signing up for electronic bill delivery. Taxpayers also can sign up for electronic delivery by going to the Pay Taxes section of the treasurer’s website:

They also have the option of signing up for future E-bills by contacting the Treasurer’s office by phone or in person. The Treasurer’s office phone number is 867-7581.

Treasurer Montoya also wanted to stress that electronic bill delivery is completely optional. Any taxpayer that does not feel comfortable with this option can still receive a paper bill. Anyone who signs up for E-bills will receive both a paper bill and an electronic bill for the 2016 tax season.

Sandoval County hosting health insurance enrollment events

—Sidney Hill

Open enrollment for health insurance started November 1, and the Sandoval County Community Health Program is hosting events to help residents through the process. The Community Health Program will provide individuals and families the opportunity to work with trained professionals to review coverage options, find out if they qualify for financial assistance, and sign up or re-enroll for a plan that meets their needs. The open enrollment period runs through January 31, 2016.

Along with the health insurance enrollment, trained counselors and Medicaid Determiners will be on hand to provide assistance to anyone who might have questions or need assistance with Medicaid and related programs such as QMB, SLIMB, Medicare Part D and Extra Help, QI, QDWI and the Health Care Assistance Program.

In preparation for enrollment events, consumers are advised to call 867-2291, ext. 1725, to learn what information or paperwork may be needed to enroll for health coverage or any of the other services. The primary required documents for health insurance services are proof of identity, residence, and citizenship (or legal status). Anyone seeking financial assistance in paying for insurance also must bring information documenting their income such as their last two pay stubs, W2s, or last year’s tax return.

The next scheduled events are:

  • December 3 at New Mexico Sandoval County Fair Grounds, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • December 11 at Sandoval County Health Commons in Bernalillo from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Anyone unable to make one of the events can get help with enrollment process by calling 867-2291, ext. 1725.

Sandoval County Treasurer, Laura Montoya

County Treasurer’s office records highest collection rate in Sandoval County history

The Sandoval County Treasurer’s Office has shown a steady increase in the amount of property taxes collected over the past five years. The overall collection rate has improved, thanks in part to a new emphasis on pursuing delinquent accounts before they are transferred to New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue’s Property Tax Division (PTD).

In the Tax Year 2011, the Treasurer’s office had an overall collection rate of 98.72 percent. In Tax Year 2013, the Treasurer’s office collected 99 percent of the property taxes owed to the county. The percentage rose again in Tax Year 2014 to 99.08 percent, which is approximately an additional eight million dollars. The upward trend continued in 2015, with a collection rate of 99.20 percent. The graph above gives you a visual of the taxes charged and taxes collected by dollar amount and percentage.

Sandoval County Treasurer Laura M. Montoya said these numbers are even more impressive when considering the office staff has not increased over this period though the tax roll has increased by over three hundred million dollars in just five years. “We have changed our collection strategy,” Treasurer Montoya said. “We have worked diligently on cleaning up the tax roll and removing any uncollectible accounts. We continue to work closely with taxpayers who are in jeopardy of having their property auctioned, and we have placed a special emphasis on closing delinquent accounts before they hit the three-year mark.”

That timeline is important because once an account has been delinquent for more than three years, by statute, county Treasurers must turn the property over to PTD. At that point, any penalty, interest, and cost to state is reverted to PTD

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