A planning effort is now officially underway for potential uses of the Corrales Interior Drain, also known as “the scummy ditch” or “the scuzzy ditch” east of Corrales Road. Some villagers consider it a treasured natural area with aquatic life, wetlands vegetation and sometimes even muskrats, while to other Corraleños, it is a disgusting, smelly near-sewer that breeds mosquitos.

It’s only cost something over $35,000 thus far, plus many hours of labor by Village Administrator Ron Curry and Finance Officer Reyna Aragon, but it has been confirmed that most of the unexpected $4.7 million in the Village coffers first announced in January 2020, is legit.

A forensic audit this summer has confirmed that Village government really does have available more than $4 million that turned up unexpectedly. During the January 14 Village Council meeting, Curry told the mayor and council that “What made this jump out to us is that when you look at that amount of money, it is equivalent to our budget for one year.  It is a good problem to have, but it definitely requires us doing due diligence. We don’t want to get into a situation where we owe that money if we spend it in the...

Corrales’ rules regarding political campaign signs likely will not be enforced between now and the November elections. The Village’s sign ordinance is now considered unconstitutional, according to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Planning and Zoning Administrator Laurie Stout has determined. She issued a statement late last month that “I am hereby directing code enforcement staff to forego enforcement of certain provisions of the Village code related to temporary signs or signage.

“Effective immediately and until the Village’s sign regulations are property amended, or until November 3, 2020, whichever is sooner, code enforcement staff shall enforce only those provisions of the sign regulations related to temporary signs or signage that are content neutral and relate to...


Candidates for the 2020 Corrales Pet Mayor all have now been corralled, with voting already underway. Snickers, a fun-loving guinea pig with a big heart, was the second candidate to enter the race, after the elegant hound, Abigail Fae. Snickers’ campaign slogan is, “Don’t be blinded by my white stripe, I’m cute, cuddly, and oh so strong…”

And number three was JoJo, an energetic four-month old standard poodle. Her slogan is, “Power To Pets with JoJo!” Her campaign platform is appropriately COVID-19-aware. She champions butt-sniffing, wagging rather than barking in Village negotiations, three walks a day, and insists doggie bags from local restaurants are for dogs, not humans.

One cat has entered the race thus far, and Moonshadow’s campaign slogan is “Of course I'm PURR-fect for the job, I’m a cat!” And a mini-donkey about three months old named Chip is also in contention, because of course “He has great ass-pirations for Corrales!”

Back in the canine column is alert-as-can-be Jacqui who says “Ears up, paws down, attention placed —I'm ready to race!” Archie, a major mix of dog, more in the mellow zone, now insists “When we get through these tough times we’re going to… Party on Corraleños!” Looking like a true elder statesdog is Samson, who assures, “I don’t bite, but I’ll fight for you. Vote Samson for Mayor!”

The first ever duo-mayoral candidates are Cockadoodles JackJack and Moose, brothers and opposites in every way. These literal underdogs (runt and deformed) are limping proof you can achieve anything with hard work and determination.  Their campaign slogan is “Together, we won’t let Corrales get Jacked up!”

New rules for short-term rentals, such as Airbnb operations, are proposed for Corrales. The Village Council will discuss and take public comment on the proposed Ordinance 20-005 at its Tuesday, September 8 session via Zoom. The Zoom meeting ID number is 815 7416 9208, with password 697376. Full text of the draft ordinance can be found at the Village of Corrales website: http://www.corrales-nm.org under the tab “Latest News.”  Much of the proposed law’s text is published below.

As the popularity of short-term rentals, also referred to as “vacation rentals” has increased over the past decade, complaints from neighboring residents have become common in Corrales as elsewhere. Loud parties, unathourized parking on adjacent private property, and even guests’ trespass golf ball drives have been reported. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXIX No.2 March 7, 2020 “Mayor Needs Applications for Short-Term Rentals.”.)

By Meredith Hughes
What does an emergency nurse working three 12-hour shifts a week at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho do during his downtime at home in Corrales during a pandemic? Alex Price started a blog. It’s called Nature in Corrales, and is described like this: “Watching the change in Nature over the seasons. Kind of senseless, and yet full of purpose.”

In his first post on April 2, Price wrote: “The level of the ditch has fallen dramatically in the last several days of hot, dry weather.” The ditch referred to is officially the Corrales Interior Drain, known unofficially as “the scuzzy ditch.”

Corrales now has at least five registered “Little Free Library” installations along roadways and byways. Among them are a new one at the northwest corner of Carey Road and Kepler Court, and others at 104 Laura Lane and 104 Andrews Lane. The idea of offering books to passersby began several years ago elsewhere but has caught on here.

A temporary climate controlled building will be installed in August to shelter county animals short term, according to Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block. He said the $56,000 building is likely to go in near the County’s administration offices off Highway 528. He would like it to be managed by the Community Services Division instead of the sheriff's office. The proposed location is close to community services operations.

At the July 9 County Commission meeting, Block challenged new County Manager Wayne Johnson, who assumes the office July 27, to prioritize the building of a permanent Sandoval County Animal Shelter, starting with the creation of a taskforce to explore the options.

A long-proposed trail connection between the City of Rio Rancho’s paved Thompson Fence Line trail along the edge of the escarpment and the end of Sagebrush Drive in Corrales is finally underway. Engineering work has begun after the Corrales Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission pushed for it at the June 16 on-line Village Council meeting.

Corrales crops dependent on ditch irrigation should survive to harvest despite the drought, meager flows from southern Colorado’s slopes and extreme temperatures. In mid-July, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District successfully sought permission from Texas and Colorado through the Interstate Stream Commission to use about 38,000 acre-feet of stored water.

Otherwise, MRGCD officials said the Rio Grande would have dried up along this stretch of the river and depleted water flowing to irrigation ditches. On July 17, the MRGCD issued a statement that it “was anticipating running out of its general irrigation water supplies in upstream reservoirs by Saturday morning [July 18] that would have led to extensive river drying and devastating crop losses throughout the middle Rio Grande valley.”

State Engineer John D’Antonio, who serves on the Rio Grande Compact, said the agreement specifies that the “borrowed” water be used judiciously to prevent catastrophic cross losses and minimize impacts to endangered...

With a financial impact analysis in hand, New Mexico legislators may be prepared to make a decision on a long-proposed near-universal health care program during their 2021 session. The Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, led by Corrales’ Mary Feldblum, responded last month to a report by three consultants tasked to analyze cost-benefits inherent in the plan that would provide health care insurance equivalent to that enjoyed by state employees.

As Feldblum explained, the proposal is for state government “to set up its own health plan to ensure most New Mexicans, exclusive of the military, military retirees and federal retirees. “There is complete freedom of choice of doctors and hospitals, and services can be no less than what State employees have. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXVII No.20 January 5, 2019 ‘Health Security Act’ Could Pass N.M. Legislature.”)

The State’s contract with KNG Health Consulting, IHS Markit and Reynis Analytics produced analyses of four scenarios with various assumptions over the time period 2024 to 2028. Feldblum, who holds a doctorate in sociology and economics, pointed out that the analysis demonstrated that under the fourth scenario, implementation of the Health Security Act would yield substantial savings compared to what is now spent on health care in New Mexico.

By Scott Manning
This month, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) will conduct a study of the Corrales Siphon to determine what maintenance...

The chairman of the Tree Preservation Advisory Committee, John Thompson, is concerned about the decline in the Corrales tree canopy. In a presentation to the Village Council August 18 Thompson laid out an approach to tree care for the council, asking “Is there a problem with Corrales trees?”

He and his committee think so: he touched on the effects of drought on tree health, trees’ increasing susceptibility to disease and pests, the loss of trees along the acequias, even the increased number of cottonwoods with mistletoe in their branches. Infestations of mistletoe often indicate a stressed or unhealthy tree.

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