Group Calls For Rio Arriba To Annex Santa Fe County Portions Of Espanola
Espanola ‐ A group of concerned Citizens’, led by local Española resident George Martinez, is proposing that an election be held to determine whether residents of Santa Fe County who reside within the City of Española, have their property annexed into Rio Arriba County. A letter was hand delivered in December to Santa Fe County Clerk, Geraldine Salazar as the first step in the process. “Given our proximity to Rio Arriba County Services and conversely the distance to Santa Fe County services, we request that an election be held in a timely manner to consider annexation of this area into Rio Arriba County and if approved to take effect January 1, 2017.”.
The group asserts that pursuant to NM Stat § 4‐33‐1 (2013) that it will be more convenient and economical for the residents to obtain services in Española, rather than drive all to way into Pojoaque or Santa Fe as they currently do. Per statute, the group will be required to obtain 625+ signatures, or 51% of the 1350, currently registered voters in the area, in order to require a vote on the matter. Ultimately the citizens group wants the matter put to a vote to let the people decide.
The Rio Arriba Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution on January 28, 2016 in support of the citizens’ efforts. The annexation would result in a transfer of revenue to Rio Arriba County, property taxes and gross receipts of approximately $1 million dollars, of which $200,000+ would go directly to the Española Presbyterian Hospital. Rio Arriba County has committed to invest the monies in behavioral health & substance abuse, public safety & emergency management, traffic, roads & infrastructure development, senior care, continued economic development and a continuation of existing investments currently made by Santa Fe County. The revenues would enable Rio Arriba County to leverage the funds to obtain federal dollars to support infrastructure development.
Click HERE to view responses from city council candidates when questioned about the annexation at a recent candidate forum cosponsored by the Valley Daily Post, ITAV and KDCE (note, this video is provided courtesy of Clarissa Duran).