Having appropriated $60,000 for design and engineering for major modifications to upper Meadowlark Lane, Village officials now seem in agreement with concepts worked out through a planning “charrette” a year ago.
After considerable discussion at the October 28 Village Council meeting, councillors unanimously approved a budget resolution that set aside up to $60,000 to pay engineers to produce a “shovel-ready” project of lane improvements, trails and drainage features which the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) would be asked to fund.
“We have a conceptual plan, but we don’t have a design,” said Councillor Jim Fahey. “So I think the next step is to move forward with a design.
Plans for a business park in Corrales’ Far Northwest Sector adjacent to the Rio Rancho Industrial Park have not advanced beyond judging support for it through a requested zone change.
The Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission will consider Ian Caird’s five-acre commercial zone change at its November 19 meeting. P&Z meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Village Council chambers, across from Wells Fargo Bank.
Also on the P&Z agenda that evening was to have been the proposal from Jimmy and Roxanne Wagner for a 12-acre “agricultural park/playground” where they have operated “Wagner’s Farmland Experience” with corn maze, pumpkin patch and petting zoo for several years. The couple sought approval of the project through a “use by review,” similar to a special use permit, but it was pulled from the November 19 agenda.
The property is at 6445 Corrales Road within the Trosello tract, west of Corrales Road. Before the meeting, concerns had arisen over increasing commercialization in that residential and agricultural setting.
The welcoming, scene-setting cottonwood branches now bursting with orange and yellow leaves which shade Corrales Road near Via Oreada may be shorn away in the weeks ahead.
Trimming of the over-hanging branches was supposed to have been done by N.M. Highway Department’s maintenance crews last month, responding to a request by Village officials.
The Village’s request was triggered by a tree that fell near Via Oreada in March.
After a September meeting with the highway department, Village Administrator John Avila reported the tree trimming was approved. “On the subject of trees on South Corrales, near Via Oreada, we asked N.M. Department of Transportation (NMDOT) staff to look into the subject, and it appears that the trees are outside NMDOT right-of-way,” he pointed out.
News flash! Boulders will be coming down the Montoyas Arroyo ahead of next monsoon season’s downpours.
But they’ll be hauled in by truck under the direction of the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), to implement the third and final phase of a strategy to correct the chronic risk of flooding at the Corrales Road bridge over the Harvey Jones channel.
The project, referred to as the Lower Montoyas Water Quality Facility, debuted September 15 at a ceremony on the edge of the arroyo for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. The EPA was one of several agencies helping fund the work.
Connections to Corrales’ sewer system are moving far slower than projected, perhaps putting at risk Village officials’ understanding with the N.M. Environment Department, which largely funded the project.
At the end of October, the Village Office had received just one application to connect a non-municipal facility to the small-diameter sewer line along Corrales Road that leads to Albuquerque’s sewers.
For months now, municipal buildings such as the library, Village Offices, Senior Center, Recreation Center and fire station have been connected, but response has been slow since Mayor Scott Kominiak called a September 12 community open house for landowners in the commercial district who might want to hook up.
To resolve a long-running dispute between Village officials and the Environment Department (NMED) over whether the Village had to pass an ordinance requiring all owners of property adjacent to the sewer line to connect to it immediately, a compromise was reached earlier this year. Corrales would be considered in compliance if voluntary hook-ups by large-volume wastewater dischargers (such as the elementary school and the Catholic Church) resulted in diversion of most of the area’s septic tanks away from leachfields.
NMED Secretary Ryan Flynn set a timetable for Corrales to demonstrate that was happening. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIII, No.1, February 22, 2014 “Corrales Avoids Default on NMED Loan for Sewer Project.”)
Reflecting on changes in Corrales and its police department over the past 35 years, retiring Police Chief Ray Vigil recalled that back in 1979, an officer might have to wait a long time to nab a speeder.
“Back then, when the police department got its first radar guns, a vehicle would pass by on Corrales Road every 30 to 45 minutes. The officer would be sitting there praying the car coming would speed.”
Mayor Scott Kominiak read a proclamation declaring October 17, 2014 as “Ray Vigil Day” in Corrales. He noted during Vigil’s service here, Corrales has enjoyed one of the lowest crime rates in the state.
His good deeds described by the mayor ranged from rescuing a young child from domestic abuse to retrieving an escaped pet rabbit.
Vigil joined the police department here after serving in the armed forces military police. Hired by then-Chief Benji Torres, Vigil was promoted to sergeant, then lieutenant and on to capitan as the department underwent changes.
Attendance was thought to be down compared to the 2013 Corrales Harvest Festival, but lane closures on Paseo del Norte may be blamed, a Kiwanis Club organizer suggested.
Suanne Derr said no final tally had been accomplished for revenues taken in and expenses paid out as of October 29, but the festival is judged to have been a success.
“I visited with several long-time Corrales residents who have done the festival before us —folks from 20 years ago, 10 years ago and five years ago— all with high praise for the improvemens that have been made since Kiwanis took the festival over,” Derr said.
At least 18 tractors pulled haywagons delivering festivalgoers to far-flung venues, from Village Mercantile to the Old Church, while Wagner Farms provided rides to its Farmland Experience corn maze at the north end of the valley.
Derr said Kiwanis Club of Corrales could have used more volunteers during the September event, especially for traffic control and spotters (“conductors”) for the hayrides.