Belen

The Belen City Council promised the Valencia County Cooperative Extension service it will try to provide some financial help.

Frank Holguin, county extension program director, and Carolynn Sanchez-Wilson, extension home economist, spoke to the city council at its Monday meeting. The agents explained about the many programs provided by the extension service which impact the citizens of Valencia County.

The agency, which operates with federal, state and county funding, is seeking financial assistance from the county municipalities since the Valencia County Commission cut its funding for the program because of budgetary problems.

“We need $64,843 from local sources so we can receive $129,686 from the federal and state government,” Holguin said. “We are hoping the support from the community and municipalities will only have to be temporary. We are trying to buy as much time as possible until the county gets back on their feet.

“Besides turning to the municipalities, we are pursuing a mil levy with the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District. If this mil levy passes on June 18, we will not receive money until January 2003.”

Mayor Ronnie Torres indicated that the Valencia County mayors have discussed the need and each indicated they would try to help.

“We are entering our budgetary process,” Torres said. “We will bring it up to the finance committee and see if we can come up with some money.”

City Manger Sally Garley said it would be late May or early June before the city will definitely know how much it can help.

In agenda items, the council approved:

  • A bid from Rio West Sprinkler of Albuquerque for the construction of the skate park at the multi-purpose park. The bid was for $67,173.
  • The application for a Small Cities Community Development Block Grant for $25,000 to develop a comprehensive plan for the city.

“The city has not conducted a comprehensive plan since 1967,” said Julie Baca, planning and zoning officer, after the meeting. “The plan will look at everything in the city, including developing a community profile with demographics and an inventory of community facilities, transportation, environmental issues and infrastructure needs.”

Once these items have been compiled, the city will establish goals and objectives along with plans.

“The comprehensive plan gives guidance to specific land use regulations and helps to develop the long-range vision of Belen,” Baca said.

  • Excluding the airport manager position from the personnel rules and regulations and adding it to appointed positions, along with city attorney, city manager, fire chief and police chief.
  • An addition to its open meetings act, which provides assistance to individuals with a disability who are in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting.

Such services will need to be requested at least one week prior to the meeting or as soon as possible so the city may make arrangements to provide the service.

  • Torres and the council proclaimed April 22-26 as playground safety week in Belen., and, in so doing, joined Gov. Gary Johnson as well as other governors and city councils from across the country in recognizing the National Program for Playground Safety Awareness.

In the city manager’s report, Garley said: “I am pleased to report that the Garcia Street project is now under way with the chip milling having started on Friday. The contractors will have to install an emergency temporary sewer line for one of the area residents due to the sewer backup problems until the permanent line can be installed. The residents on Garcia Street have been very patient, and I do thank them.”

She also reported:

  • “Julie Baca and I attended a workshop on the Open Meeting Act and inspection of public records in Albuquerque last week. It was a very informative workshop.”
  • “We have five confirmed visits with our congressional delegation in Washington for the week of April 30. We hope to confirm an additional two visits within a few days.”
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Jane Moorman