District attorney gives car to town of Peralta

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New or used, an additional car for a small town is a big deal.

This month, the town of Peralta received a 2003 Chevy Impala donated by the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Melissa Baxter, town of Peralta treasurer, left, and Julie Pluemer, town administrator, right, proudly stand next to the 2003 Chevy Impala donated to the town by the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

“When the DA’s office was getting new cars, (District Attorney) Lemuel Martinez called Peralta to see if we needed any cars,” said Julie Pluemer, town administrator.

After governmental agencies upgrade their fleets, they’re allowed to do inter-agency transfers to donate their old cars to other municipalities in need.

Peralta was incorporated in 2007 with almost a zero budget, so this is really a big help, Pluemer said.

This is the fourth car the DA’s office has donated, two of which are no longer operable, but the Peralta code enforcement officer will no longer have to share a Ford Crown Victoria the town received last year.

The district attorney also donated office furniture that helped the town furnish its town hall and administrative offices.

“They have been extremely generous,” Pluemer said. “The county was very good to Peralta, too, when Peralta first incorporated. The county is very supportive of Peralta, but the DA’s office in Belen, over the years, has donated pretty much all of the furniture in the offices, the desks, the chairs in the town hall.”

The Chevy Impala will be used by administrative staff to conduct daily business, such as trips to the bank, post office and to travel to inter-governmental meetings and conferences.

The car has 121,000 miles, but it has new tires, new brakes and is in nice shape, Pluemer said.

Previously, city staff was sharing the Crown Victoria among four employees, said Melissa Baxter, town treasure and deputy clerk.

“Any purchases that we have made, as far as vehicles, have been through the law enforcement protection fund to purchase police cars for our agreement with Bosque Farms,” Pluemer said.

The town purchased a truck for the public works department and a fire truck through the state fire protection fund, money for line items allocated to the town annually.

“Those are the critical-need vehicles that have to be pretty new and operable,” Pluemer said. “Any revenue the town receives goes to road repairs. That’s our top priority.”

Inter-governmental vehicles and other equipment recycling is pretty important to small towns, especially newly-incorporated municipalities.

“They helped to get us started, and it has been a really big help,” said Baxter.


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