Archive for Bernalillo County

County Homeowners to Receive Discounts on Flood Insurance Premiums: Premiums Will Be Discounted 5 to 10 Percent

Editor’s Note: In the midst of daily red flag fire danger warnings, it may be hard not to chuckle at this news, but this is good news for many and obviously took a great deal of work.

by Catherine Lopez, Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has upgraded Bernalillo County’s Community Rating System (CRS) classification. As a result, flood insurance policy holders in Bernalillo County will receive a discount on their insurance premiums.

The CRS rating improved because the county implemented additional floodplain management programs that exceed FEMA requirements.

“This upgrade in our CRS rating is a reflection of the county’s diligent efforts to help people lower flood insurance costs, as Bernalillo County continues to address the impact of how much people pay for flood insurance,” says Commissioner Art De La Cruz.  “The savings will benefit all county residents, who are paying the floodplain premium, whether they live in the city or the unincorporated area.”

The county implemented new programs to receive the upgraded rating including making flood risk information more easily available to the public, implementing an annual outreach program to lenders, real estate agents and surveyors, and the implementation of stricter floodplain development standards.

These additional programs earned Bernalillo County a class 8 rating.  All communities start out with a class 10 rating and as they improve their floodplain management programs, they can raise their class rating.  A class 1 rating is the highest possible rating. The county’s new rating became effective on May 1.

The benefit of a class 8 rating is a discount for flood insurance policy holders.  Flood insurance policy holders that are located within a flood zone will receive a 10 percent discount on their insurance premiums. Flood insurance policy holders that are not within a flood zone will receive a 5 percent discount. The reductions will automatically be applied to all new policies and to existing policies at their time of renewal.

This will result in an average annual savings of $88 per policy for properties within the flood zone and $45 per policy for properties outside the flood zone. Total annual savings for residents in the unincorporated area of the county is projected to be about $68,000.

The community rating system is a voluntary incentive program that’s part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  The National Flood Insurance Program recognizes and encourages communities to implement floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.  Bernalillo County has participated in the NFIP since 1983.

Residents can contact Bernalillo County floodplain administrator Don Briggs at 505-848-1511 for more information.


And Never The Twain Shall Meet

by John Weckerle

We now turn the baleful eye of New Mexico Central* to none other than the Mountain View Telegraph, the progenitors of lies, deceit, disease, and filth.** In their recent article “Organization lauds 1983 move to N.M.,” the Telegraph opens: “The American Society of Radiologic Technologists threw a grand opening and anniversary party last Friday to unveil its greatly expanded and renovated East MountainsTM © headquarters and to celebrate 30 years in the Land of Enchantment.” The article then goes on to describe the location as “…just west of Carnuel on Old Route 66.”


Ignoring the split infinitive in the first sentence, let us begin with the concept of “East Mountains.”TM ©  We at New Mexico Central have always taken issue with this moniker, given that the entire “East Mountain”TM © area is, in fact, wholly within the western half of the state.  The term is essentially a geoegocentrism propagated by the schweinhunde in Albuquerque.*** However, since most of this area seems perfectly fine with accepting Albuquerque’s self-referential definition of the area to its east as the “East Mountains,”TM © we consider it worthwhile to examine the Telegraph’s description of this organization’s headquarters.  The web site for the American Society of Radiologic Technicians (ASRT) lists its address as “15000 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123-3909.”  We performed the inevitable Google Maps search, of course, and found that a line drawn north-south intersects Albuquerque – well, to the north and the south.

There are few who would argue, we think, that any location that is not entirely east of Albuquerque is situated within the East Moutnains.TM ©

Armed with this information, we sought to consult with the appropriate authority on geographic descriptors within New Mexico to put the last nail into the lid of this one.  After a protracted**** search, we were surprised to find out that…

We’re it.

That’s right: New Mexico Central is now the only Recognized Authority on the Application of Regional Descriptions in New Mexico, TM © and the first thing we’re doing is copyrighting/trademarking “East Mountain,” TM © and associated plurals, abbreviations and colloquialisms.  Communities, businesses, and individuals who wish to describe themselves as being within the East MountainsTM © must contact us and request an application.  Following the payment of the fee (which we will determine based on a variety of factors, including the balance in the community’s bank account), Senior Geographic Descriptor Correspondent Wilson will conduct an analysis and render an opinion.  As should be expected, the application fee is non-refundable.

* We’re like Sauron.  Only worse.
**Just kidding, Telegraph folks.  We know you try to do (and generally succeed in doing) a good job at reporting in an environment in which it is increasingly difficult to practice anything that resembles journalism.  This does not waive a reasonable expectation of accuracy, though; while we understand that the Telegraph has to do what they can to expand readership, expanding geography is another thing.
*** Just kidding, Albuquerque.  We love ya.  We’d love ya more if you’d bring in an Ethiopian restaurant, though.  No kidding; that is some really great food. Plus, we’d like our own commuter rail system. Thank you.
**** As far as you know.

Crime Alert

by John Weckerle

Yesterday afternoon, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a concerned citizen reporting that the alarm at a neighbor’s home on Mountain Valley Road had gone off.  According to the Department, the attempt to gain entry was aborted when the alarm went off.  The suspects are described as “three juveniles, Hispanic.”  The Department indicated that “It was unknown if the driver of the get away car was an adult or not.”  The the neighbor described the vehicle as “a mid-90s Ford Explorer with faded green paint.”  Citizens who have information regarding this incident should contact the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.  The release we received was signed by Lieutenant Broderick Sharp, Watch III North/East Commander, phone 468-7441.

Tavern Taxi Program Revved Up For The Holidays

Editor’s note: Be smart and be safe, folks; there are more holidays coming and we want all our readers to be around and healthy to enjoy them!

by Nataura C. Powdrell, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – The Tavern Taxi program is once again offering free rides to residents to and from their favorite restaurant or bar during this holiday season.

Bernalillo County Department of Substance Abuse and the New Mexico Hospitality Retailers Association are collaborating again on Thanksgiving Eve to support the Taxi Tavern program.

On Thanksgiving Eve, residents can take advantage of the free rides by calling 505-999-1400 for pick-up. Reservations are encouraged. The server or bartender calls for the taxi when the patron is ready to go home.

“This project has been a great success because it offers a viable alternative to drinking and driving,” says Katrina Hotrum, Department of Substance Abuse Program Director. “It is making a difference in how people plan their evening out and how they get home safely without endangering lives.”

Since joining with the Tavern Taxi program last Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve’s, St. Patrick’s Day, and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening, Bernalillo County has safely transported 2,843 passengers to and from their destinations.

Bernalillo County Hosts Free Spay/Neuter Clinic and Low Cost Walk-in Shot Clinic

by Larry Gallegos, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County Animal Care Services, New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better, and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society are joining together to provide free spay/neuter services to residents of unincorporated Bernalillo County.

“This clinic is a very important step to help in reducing the populations in our community animal shelters,” says Bernalillo County Animal Care Services Director Matt Pepper. “It also provides a service to some in our community that want to do what’s best for their pets but lack the financial means to do so.”

The event will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, Saturday, Nov. 10, and Sunday, Nov, 11, with a free walk-in shot clinic from noon to 3 p.m. each day, at the Bernalillo County Animal Care Offices located at 1126 Gatewood SW. Pet owners must be residents of unincorporated Bernalillo County.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society mobile spay/neuter van will be at the Animal Care Services offices and a total of 40 animals (dogs and cats) will be spayed or neutered each day. Pet owners have already pre-registered for spay/neuter services.

Price list for additional services available during the shot clinic:

Standard deworming $5

Deworming (tapeworms) Cats $10/Dogs up to 25 lbs $10/Dogs 26 to 60 lbs $20/Dogs over 60 lbs $25

Microchipping $6  Nail Trims $5  E-collar $5

Flea/tick prevention $15 per dose (each dose protects your pet for one month)

Heartworm prevention (6 months)

Dogs up to 25 lbs $27/Dogs 26 to 50 lbs $32/Dogs 51 to 100 lbs $37

Vaccinations:  Rabies (one year or three year) $10 Parvo/distemper $10

Feline distemper $10 Bortella $10 Feline Leukemia $15

Tests: Feline leukemia virus/feline immuno virus test $25 Heartworm test $15 Parvo test $25

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services Director Matt Pepper and representatives from New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society will be available for interviews on Friday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Commissioner Johnson Urges Bear Smarts

Editor’s note: This is good information, and we hope people will heed it.  Bear in mind also: similar precautions are warranted with ALL wildlife.  For the most part, fear of humans is one of an animal’s best friends, helping them avoid the kind of problems that can arise when interactions become too close.  

by Catherine Lopez, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Safer Community for Residents and Bears

Bernalillo County – Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson encourages county residents, especially those in the East Mountains, to take precautions with bears.

Residents are encouraged to make their homes and yards bear proof to increase safety for both bears and people.

“A bear’s eating behavior can alter after just one meal. Once the bear identifies a resident’s home as a source of food, it will continue to go back,” says Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson.  “Eliminating their access to our trash is the number one thing people can do to prevent a problem.”

One of the biggest attractions for bears is unsecured garbage, and bears will often visit a same spot again and again. Other big lures for bears are bird feeders, pet food and barbeque grills.

A little prevention can go a long way. Residents should place bird feeders out of reach, and bring them in at night. Also, barbecue grills should be cleaned and stored; trash should be secured in a garage or shed; and garbage should be placed outside only the same day of pickup. Each of these steps can deter bears significantly.

The danger in attracting bears is that the animals can become comfortable with humans, which can lead to problems for people and these animals.

As bears get used to feeding off trash, they tend to become more bold and aggressive. Looking for more, they could start breaking into homes and cars and become less fearful of people.

Right now, bears are consuming anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000 calories a day.  In a few weeks, they will begin to prepare for hibernation and will need to eat as many as 15,000 to 23,000 calories a day.

For more tips on bear proofing your home and yard, please visit

PSA: Public Meeting On Changes To Bernalillo County Fire Code

by John Weckerle

The Bernalillo County Fire Marshal will hold a public meeting next Thursday, April 19, to discuss proposed changes and amendments to the Bernalillo County Fire Code.  The meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Bernalillo County Fire Department Administrative Offices at 6840 Second Street NW in Albuquerque.

PSA: Public Meeting on Proposed Bernalillo County Fire Code Changes

From: Tia Bland, Public Information Director

Please be advised that the Bernalillo County fire marshal will be hosting a public meeting on Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:0 p.m. to discuss changes and amendments being proposed to the Bernalillo County Fire Code.

The meeting will be held at the Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy 66, Tijeras, NM 87059.

PSA: Community Meeting Planned to Discuss North 14 Sector Development Plan Amendment

by Catherine Lopez, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – County Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson will host a community meeting to discuss his proposed amendment to the North 14 Sector Development Plan. The amendment would add language to the plan that would provide for an exemption to the cosmetic design standards of the plan.

For a property owner to seek the exemption, the property owner would be required to obtain the permission of 50 percent of the surrounding land owners within 100 feet, excluding the right-of-way.

The exemption could be denied if the proposed design didn’t meet the spirit and intent of the design guidelines of the sector plan. Exemptions would be appealable to the County Planning Commission and the Bernalillo County Commission.

The community meeting will take place on Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Deputy James McGrane, Jr. Public Safety Complex located at 48 Public School Road. in Tijeras.

“The North 14 Sector Plan is an important policy, the intent of which is to encourage quality development along North 14. But as with all public policy, it’s important to remember and respect the property rights of all parties involved,” says Commissioner Wayne Johnson.

All along the East Mountain Corridor, the North 14 Sector Development Plan will institute special zones and design regulations through the adoption of ordinances.  The sector plan will also strive to provide more options for commercial activity in the area.

The North 14 Sector Development Plan was approved at the March 7 County Planning Commission meeting.   It is scheduled to be heard by the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners at its April 24 meeting.  The meeting begins at 3 p.m. at One Civic Plaza NW, in the Vincent E. Griego Chambers.

Bernalillo County Asks Residents ‘What Projects are Needed?’ – New Feature Available for Online Project Requests

by Catherine Lopez, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County is seeking input from the community about future capital improvement projects through a series of public meetings and a new online feature.

 “Beginning Monday, March 26, the county will offer its newest feature in this important information gathering process,” says County Manager Tom Zdunek.  “Residents will be able to follow-up on their project request.  Every project request submitted will receive a confirmation number.  If a resident provides an email address, a confirmation number and email will be sent back to them.”

The confirmation number allows residents to access information about how their project was evaluated, as well as where it ranks among projects of its same type.

Residents have until May 17 to submit a project request.

The online request form is available at   Residents who do not wish to submit requests electronically can still fill out hardcopy forms. The county will have forms available at its Capital Improvement Plan public meetings, starting Monday night, March 26.

The public meetings will allow the county to gather project ideas from citizens and neighborhood groups.  The county’s Capital Improvement Plan provides a link between the needs and visions of the public and the county’s capital expenditure budgets.

“Every two years, residents have the chance to make a direct impact on the county’s future,” says Commission Chair Art De La Cruz.  “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity by attending a public meeting and sharing the vision they have for the community with us.”

After hearing from the community, the county will evaluate and prioritize potential projects. During the general election in November, the public will vote on whether to approve the general obligation bonds that fund the projects.

A “capital improvement” is defined as a substantial, physical asset with a useful life of 10 years or greater.  Capital improvement projects from past bond cycles include the Deputy James McGrane Public Safety Complex in the East Mountains, the Bachechi Open Space in the North Valley and the Eubank Boulevard road construction project in the northeast heights.

The community is invited to attend any of the scheduled meetings:

Monday, March 26 | District 1
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Don Newton Community Center
490 Kachina Street NW

Thursday, March 29 | District 5
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Los Vecinos Community Center
478 1/2 Old Hwy 66, Tijeras NM

Monday, April 2 | District 1
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center
9800 4th Street NW

Tuesday, April 17 | District 3
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Hiland Theater, Studio A or B
4800 Central Avenue SE

A tour of the historic Hiland Theater will be conducted at 5:15 p.m. for interested parties

Thursday, April 19 | District 4
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lt. William Sibrava Memorial Substation
10401 Holly Ave NE

Monday, April 23 | District 2
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Westside Community Center
1250 Isleta Blvd SW

For more information about the capital improvement process, please visit

Bernalillo County Encourages Youth Groups to Apply for Spring Cleanup Grants

by Andy Lenderman, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – School clubs, sports teams and other youth groups can earn $200 while helping to clean up their neighborhoods and other littered areas around Bernalillo County.

Nonprofit youth groups are encouraged to apply for $200 grants as part of Bernalillo County’s participation in the New Mexico Clean and Beautiful program.

The deadline to apply is March 30.

 “Spring is here and this is a good opportunity for youth groups to participate in hands-on community service while earning money for their team or school club,” Commissioner Wayne Johnson says.

Supplies such as trash bags and T-shirts will be provided by the county.

Visit or click here to access the application. Applicants can also contact the county’s Parks and Recreation Department at 505.314.0416 or for more information.


East Mountain Transfer Station To Accept E-Waste

by John Weckerle

We have received a press release from Cathy Lopez at the Bernalillo County Public Information Department that the East Mountain Transfer Station is now accepting e-waste for recycling.  The “E” in “e-waste” stands for electronics.  Such wastes can contain a variety of metals, some harmful and some valuable, and recycling is a great way to avoid potential problems and reapply useful resources.  As an added benefit, we can all now recycle electronic devices – computers, cell phones, gaming systems, etc. – without driving into Albuquerque.

We provide directions correcting those issued by Bernalillo County, which appear to assume that only residents living west of the Zuzax exit dispose of such materials (grin):

  • From the Zuzax exit, regardless of which direction from which you arrive, go approximately 2 miles west on Old Route 66 (also known as NM 333).
  • From the NM-14 and Old Route 66 (also known as NM 333), go approximately 2.25 miles east on Route 66.

The press release indicates that the transfer station is open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.  Hats off to Bernalillo County for providing this service!



PSA: Bernalillo County Offices Closed Monday

by Tia Bland, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County government offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 16–with the exception of emergency and public safety services.

Press Release: Bernalillo County Offices Closed Tomorrow for Holiday Observance

by Tia Bland, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County government offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 2–with the exception of emergency and public safety services.

PSA: Vista Grande Community Center and East Mountain High School Weight Room Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

by Larry Gallegos, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

WHO:        Commissioner Wayne Johnson and the Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation Department

WHEN:      Sunday, Oct. 30, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Vista Grande Community Center, #15 La Madera Road, Sandia Park

The 5000 square foot facility contains a large assortment of weight machines, free weights, dumbbells, barbells and kettle bells.

There are also elliptical machines, treadmills, upright bikes and recumbent bikes.

This is the second Phase of the Fisher Smith Gymnasium – a joint partnership of Bernalillo County and the East Mountain High School. Students from East Mountain High will use these facilities as part of their physical education classes and sports programs.

Total construction cost: $841,000.

Total exercise equipment cost:  $204,856.

Funding sources came from State Legislative Funds, General Obligation Bonds (Parks & Recreation) and Impact Fees.

Larry Gallegos
Public Information Specialist-Bernalillo County Public Information
Bernalillo County Fire Dept., Animal Care Services, Youth Services Center, Emergency Communications
Office: (505) 468-1273 Cell: (505) 228-6668
Bernalillo County Fire Department
6840 2nd St., NW, 3rd Floor, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107