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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

BPS Bond Election to be held on February 5

—Orin Safier, ES-CA

There will be a Bernalillo Municipal School District (BMSD) and Bond Election on February 5, 2013. It will include three ballot items: 1) Election of two school board members; 2) A ballot measure for a 2.0 mill property tax for capital improvements; and 3) A ballot measure to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $20 million, which would largely go to construction and maintenance of schools in the district. The BMSD includes Bernalillo, Algodones, and Placitas, as well as more outlying areas such as Cochiti and Peña Blanca, and the nearby pueblos. The Placitas Elementary School is part of BMSD. These ballot measures, if passed, would affect property taxes in all these areas subject to property tax.

Our property tax bills presently include three items for the Bernalillo School District: 1) 9.471 mill for debt service, 2) 2.0 mill for capital improvements, and 3) 0.169 mill for operations. For most property owners in Placitas, this accounts for over forty percent of their total property taxes. According to officials with BMSD, the ballot measure for 2.0 mill would replace the present 2.0 mill tax, which expires next year, thus leaving that particular tax unaltered. Also, if the $20 million bond measure passes then this would not significantly change the 9.471 mill tax. We do not yet have precise information on how that tax rate would be affected if the bond measure were voted down.

According to a brochure published by Bernalillo Public Schools, the 2.0 mill levy is intended to generate approximately $6.8 million, to be used to maintain and improve buildings, and purchase equipment.

According to this brochure, the $20 million bond is intended to be applied to a number of projects, including: construction and renovation for Bernalillo High School; construction and renovation for Santo Domingo School; continued technology upgrades district-wide; roofing repairs district-wide; athletic field upgrades district-wide; and Cochiti gymnasium.

There is already an agreement between BMSD and the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority (NMPSFA) that they would share close to equally in the funding of the Bernalillo High School and Santo Domingo School construction and renovation. Both are expected to involve extensive renovation of existing buildings and possibly the construction of some new structures. If the $20 million bond measure were to fail, these projects would probably not go forward at this time. This $20 million might not fully pay the BMSD portion of these projects, so a further bond measure in 2016 might be required.

Among the voting locations will be the Bernalillo Auxiliary Gym for residents of Bernalillo, the Placitas Elementary School for residents of Placitas, Peña Blanca Community Center, Cochiti Lake Fire/EMS, and Community Centers on the pueblos. Absentee voting will also be conducted in the Sandoval County Clerk’s office.

Material in this article also appears on the ES-CA (Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association) Forum,, with the specific article at Links will also be found there to the Bernalillo Public Schools brochure and the school board packet containing the resolution for this election.

Native American Early Head Start Program awarded $820,000

—Marissa Padilla 

 On December 13, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that Native American Professional Parent Resources (NAPPR) in Albuquerque would receive a $820,034 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its Early Head Start program. 

“Most families living in poverty have difficulty accessing resources to support their children’s development,” said Udall. “NAPPR focuses on helping Native American families overcome hardships with programs like Early Head Start that promote healthy children and strengthen the entire community.”

Currently, NAPPR serves over seventy families with home-based and center-based services to expectant moms and families with infants and toddlers. NAPPR will use these funds to expand its services.

Early Head Start is a federally funded, community-based program for low-income families with infants and toddlers and pregnant women. Its mission is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children and promote healthy family functioning.

Udall is a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Rotary Sunrise Club

—Deborah Gullo

The Fourth Annual DeGroot-Akins Scholarship Dinner, raising funds for Nursing Students from Rio Rancho, will be held on January 19 at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort.

Last year, $10,000 in scholarships were awarded to local nursing students who were committed to remaining in the Rio Rancho area. As one nursing student stated, “Nursing school has been a very challenging time for me and my family, and this scholarship was a ray of sunshine. Receiving this financial support as well as community recognition for my scholarship and hard work helped me through this difficult time. Thank you for your investment in my education and in the healthcare community of Rio Rancho. I look forward to providing quality healthcare to my community as it has cared for me.”

Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with a silent auction, cash bar, and socializing, with dinner starting at 7:00 p.m. The Nursing Scholarship Presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. followed by Keynote Speaker Erica Hamilton, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center Vice President of Patient Care. Individual tickets are $50 per person. Group and company sponsorships are available at the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum level. For further information, contact Will Parker at 505-818-9776 or:

Rotary is a volunteer organization with 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. It initiates humanitarian projects that address challenges affecting the world today, such as hunger, poverty, and illiteracy.

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