Los Lunas secures more road funds

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The Los Lunas Village Council approved the roads department to pursue additional funding from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, Highway Cooperative and Municipal Arterial Plan grant funding for village road improvement projects.

The DOT and Co-op money had been designated for other towns and municipalities that gave up the funding. Most of the funding requires a 15 to 25 percent match.

Michael Jaramillo, the director of parks and recreation and roads department, said conservative budgeting has allowed them to be in a position to take advantage of the additional funding.

"We have been working with DOT to locate additional funding for our community," Jaramillo said at a recent council meeting. "Unfortunately other communities are not being able to meet their expected goals and are turning the money back into DOT. We're hoping to get this additional money."

The amount of additional MAP funding is $225,000, and the match required is 25 percent.

Jaramillo said the roads department has $125,000, and the additional money will be used for the continuation of phase-4 improvements to Carson Drive.

At a previous meeting, the council approved midyear budget adjustments for the addition of $100,000 in MAP grant funding with a 15 percent match, and $176,000 from the Highway Co-op, as well as an $11,300 Edward Burn grant for the police department's purchase of equipment.

"The (midyear) budget resolution was mainly due to additional funds we received after the final budget was approved," said Monica Clarke, finance officer.

Other road improvement funding secured by the department include an additional $88,000 for the Los Cerritos Road project to resurface the road, address some of the utility patches and level protruding manholes.

The department dissolved the Dalies Road project, because the road is county owned and not within the village limits. It was a project with Bosque Farms and Valencia County to work together, but there has been some property issues, and the group decided to dissolve the partnership, said Jaramillo.

"Originally this money was allocated for Carson Drive phase VI and we want to move it back," he said.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a special use amendment for a sand and gravel lot at 3485 N.M. 47. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended in favor of the amendment.

• Approved contract renewals for aerobics instructors Yvanna Soto and Adela Thompson in the Parks and Recreation Department.

• Hired Hilary Maez as a part-time library aide for the Los Lunas Public Library.

At the March 7 meeting, the council:

• Approved converting the part-time fire inspector position to a full-time fire marshal designation with more supervisory responsibilities as well as emergency management coordinator and community outreach, The fire marshal position is a 40-hour work week and pays $19 an hour salary.

• Approved hiring Adela Thompson, Ashley Thompson-Armijo and Jannelle Thompson-Armillo as instructors for a new youth dance program held at the Fred Luna Senior Center.

• Approved the village public safety department budget adjustments to upgrade all public safety radios from wide band, which conducts two or three frequencies to the narrow band, which conducts five to 10 frequencies for dispatch, repeaters, hand held and mobile radios federally mandated by a January 2013 deadline.

• Los Lunas Police Officer Jonathan Norris was promoted to sergeant, effective Feb. 23.

• Hired Jacob Lovato for a position with the Waste Water Treatment Plant.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.