PERALTA — The Peralta Town Council had a productive evening March 28 after announcing pending federal funding for a new fire station and the approval of two ordinances.

Peralta’s current gross receipt tax is 7.1825 percent. The municipal gross receipt tax ordinance will increase by .6125 percent. This will bring Peralta’s GRT to 8.4250 percent effective July 1. Revenue from the increase will go to the town’s general fund use.

“On a $100 purchase that is an increase of 31 cents,” said Steve Robbins, town of Peralta treasurer and deputy clerk.

“In 2019, the Legislature allowed municipalities to increase (GRT) to a max of 2.05 percent. Our neighboring communities have adopted that ordinance to increase their portion,” Robbins said. “The only ones who haven’t are Peralta and Rio Communities.”

For 12 years, Peralta has not increased the GRT and cites inflation as a big push toward the increase. Robbins also recognized the town’s maintenance and new projects as a need for more revenue.

“This could be a $300,000 to $360,000 per year increase,” Robbins said. “It’s about a million dollars a mile to pave a road. Wastewater equipment repairs and maintenance are expensive and parts are just going up. The cost of office supplies, fuel, construction and equipment maintenance all have increased.”

Robbins said maintenance for the soon-to-be-completed park is also something to be taken into account.

“We’ve got all these projects coming up and the costs just keep on going up,” he said.

All members of the council voted to approve the GRT increase ordinance.

The council also unanimously approved the proposed fire ordinance after a brief discussion with Peralta Fire Chief Jeremy Fiedler, who clarified the wording on some sections. This will be the Peralta Volunteer Fire Department’s first official fire ordinance.

“We need an ordinance to adopt a fire code, to carry out inspections, and to be able to get things we need from the fire marshal,” said Peralta Town Clerk Kori Taylor.

To see the new ordinances, visit the town’s website at townofperalta.org.

It was also announced at the meeting that tentative federal funding has come through to build a new fire station. This marks a big win for the town, as for the past couple years there was uncertainty as to where funding would come from.

Jacob Trujillo, a staff representative for U.S. Rep.  Melanie Stansbury, said a lot of work went into ensuring that almost eight million dollars in funding will soon be coming to Peralta for the new fire station should the federal budget pass.

“We lived in Peralta a few years ago and my dad was a volunteer firefighter here. He passed away in September 2020,” Trujillo said. “Following that, I started working in the congresswoman’s office and, from there, I knew I always had to come back to Peralta and help where I could.

“We couldn’t go a dinner without hearing about the needs of the fire station, so I made sure in January of this year, once it got into our district, we were going to do something.”

Last year, the Legislature redistricted the state, which they do every 10 years in response to updated census data. Peralta was moved from District 2 to congressional District 1, currently represented by Stansbury.

“We always try to make sure there is a fire station and all parts of our district are represented, so we made sure this year Peralta made that list (for funding),” Trujillo said.

Peralta Mayor Bryan Olguin reaffirmed that while they are on the list, the check has not yet been signed.

“For federal money, we have to meet several criterias, but we filled out the application and are spot-on for everything, so as long as the federal budget is passed we should be good to go,” Olguin said.

(Editor’s note: The Rio Communities City Council also increased it’s GRT to 8.4250 percent.)

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Felina Martinez News-Bulletin Writer

Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.