Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

  Public Safety

Bernalillo Mayor Patricia Chavez breaks ground

Mayor Patricia Chavez and other Sandoval County Officials ceremoniously shovel the first bit of dirt kicking off the construction of the new Public Works building

Groundbreaking for new Public Works Building

—L.A. Williams, Signpost

Bernalillo Mayor, Patricia A. Chavez, along with Fire Chief, John Estrada, Police Chief, Fred Radosevich, Town of Bernalillo Councilors, and police and fire representatives from Corrales, Rio Rancho, Sandoval County and the State Fire Marshall’s Office joined together on December 11, to break ground on the Town of Bernalillo’s Westside Public Safety Building.

The new 8,000 sq. ft. structure will house an expansion of the Town’s fire and police departments. The new facility not only has extraordinary views, but is stategically located as the area continues to grow and traffic increases. The location at 1101 Montoya Rd. (behind Wal-Mart), will be helpful to responders not only in Bernalillo, but in the mutual and automatic aid agreements that exist with surrounding stations.

Mayor Chavez said that not only will this facility allow for quality emergency response, but that it will “continue to help lower ISO (International Organization for Standardization) ratings for the area.” To help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties, insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community's fire-protection services. ISO provides that information through the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program. By classifying communities' ability to suppress fires, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public fire-protection services.

The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services.

The Town of Bernalillo contributed a large amount, financially, to this project, along with state appropriations that were sought to bring this project to fruition.

The construction is expected to last for approximately six months, in hopes that the facility will be housed in mid-summer, 2009.

Mattel to pay $12 million settlement for excessive lead in toys

A settlement agreement has been reached with Mattel, Inc. and its subsidiary, Fisher Price, Inc., granting just over $205,000 of the $12 million settlement to New Mexico.

Approximately two million toys were recalled by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from August to October 2007, due to the possibility of excessive lead in accessible surface coatings. The toys in question were manufactured in China. At the time of the recall, the CPSC standard permitted for lead in accessible surface coatings was six hundred parts per million (ppm). Lead levels taken in the recalled toys exceeded the federal standard, testing over ten thousand ppm and fifty thousand ppm.

The agreement calls for more stringent standards for accessible lead in both surface coatings and substrates, effective for toys manufactured after November 30, 2008. The states' Attorneys General first contacted Mattel in August 2007. Since that time, Congress has enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which now provides for more tightened safety standards. Mattel also agreed to notify the Attorneys General if it confirms excessive lead in any of its products in violation of state or federal law, or the Consent Judgment. Mattel agrees to work with the Attorneys General to remedy any violations.

The states were led by an Executive Committee which consists of Assistant Attorneys General in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. California also took part in the negotiations, reaching a separate agreement under their state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.






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