Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Plaques recognizing their work maintaining the Piedra Lisa Dam in Placitas were presented during a Sandoval County Commission meeting to Lee Yardman (left) of the county Public Works Department and Ted Montoya, retired owner of Montoya Sand and Gravel. Lynn Montgomery, chairman of the Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District, made the presentations as District Manager Carolyn Kennedy watched.
Photo credit: —Bill Diven

Soil District honors supporters, aids reservoir improvements

~Signpost Staff

Two men who have helped to keep the Piedra Lisa Dam safe and sound over the years have been honored for their work.

The Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District presented plaques to Lee Yardman of the Sandoval County Public Works Department and Ted Montoya, retired owner of Montoya Sand and Gravel. Yardman is the county's road supervisor while Montoya spent 15 years on the Coronado board of supervisors and with his family often cleaned out the dam.

The Coronado district shares responsibility for the 62-year-old dam with the National Resource Conservation Service and has agreements with the county and the town of Bernalillo to help maintain it. The dam, which went through extensive refurbishing in 2007, is located just east of Interstate 25 and south of State Road 165.

"It protects north Bernalillo from catastrophic flooding," Coronado Chairman Lynn Montgomery said during a presentation to county commissioners. "The Piedra Lisa watershed can develop a lot of water in a big event, and it's really important to keep this facility well-maintained and functioning."

In presenting the plaques, during the meeting, Montgomery said Yardman and his crew responded within two days of an inspection in November to take care of a list of work needed to keep the dam up to specifications. Montoya, he added, knows more about the dam than anyone from his years of helping to maintain it.

"Ted gets real stubborn about the dam and makes sure everything is OK," Montgomery said.  "We're really happy that he comes out and helps us out."

Later in August, Montgomery and District Manager Carolyn Kennedy met with leaders of the three acequia associations in Placitas to discuss lining reservoirs that feed the irrigation systems. Las Acequias de Placitas also is a rarity in the state as it also operates the domestic water system supplying Placitas village.

The issue was how best to spend the $40,000 remaining from a 2016 capital outlay appropriation from the Legislature. The group decided to buy and stockpile the materials to line three of the four reservoirs while seeking grant funding to complete the work.

"It's a matter of opening every door you can find," said Jon Couch of the Las Huertas Community Ditch, which serves growers in the valley downstream from the national forest. The third system is the Acequia La Rosa de Castilla farther downstream.

The project has one major advantage cited during the meeting: as the associations hunt for money, they can show shovel-ready plans produced by a licensed engineer.

Rio Rancho’s Toss No Mas cleanup, free landfill access

The City of Rio Rancho’s Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful Division (KRRB) and New Mexico Clean and Beautiful invite residents to take part in the 2017 Toss No Mas community cleanup event on September 16, from 8:00 to noon. All volunteers who participate in the event will receive trash bags, gloves, and goody bags. Volunteers will be rewarded with lunch and will be eligible to participate in a prize drawing following the cleanup at Sabana Grande Recreation Center. To register for the event, call 896-8389 or email KRRB Coordinator Koryn Misbach at by September 11.

There will be free access to the Waste Management Landfill for Rio Rancho residents and the Sandoval County Landfill for Sandoval County residents from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (proof of residency required for landfill use). Liquids, paints, batteries, hazardous materials, explosives, and medical and radioactive wastes will not be accepted.
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