My Turn

Opinion: Pothole trials and tribulations on West Romero Road

By J. Michael Jones
Posted 2/13/20

In January a crew from El Valle dug a trench across West Romero Road near West Romero Place. They have yet to repair the road. I have come to learn from others in the Ranchos area that El Valle has a history of destructive practices and a lack of concern for their actions and their results.

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My Turn

Opinion: Pothole trials and tribulations on West Romero Road

Posted

This pothole brought to you by El Valle de los Ranchos Water and Sanitation District.

In January a crew from El Valle dug a trench across West Romero Road near West Romero Place. They have yet to repair the road. I have come to learn from others in the Ranchos area that El Valle has a history of destructive practices and a lack of concern for their actions and their results.

In the fall of 2018 I was approached by Alex Abeyta, of Abeyta Engineering Inc., who introduced himself as a representative of the water district for a project to extend water lines in our area. He wanted me to sell El Valle an easement for their utilities project.

My initial response was that West Romero Road had arguably been the best asphalt in Taos County until El Valle's crews destroyed it and left it in such condition that it continues to deteriorate and I did not want to see our road similarly damaged. Mr. Abeyta hastened to assure me that not only would El Valle not leave the road damaged but that they would improve it. They would put down a 4-inch base course, grade, roll and top it off with crusher fine.

I asked about culverts and bar ditches. I was told culverts would be repaired if damaged and replaced if dug up, and that the ditches would be restored. My wife and I agreed to sell an easement. Neighbors, I apologize.

The shorter version of the story is that when I contacted El Valle about issues I got no response from decision-makers. In December of 2019 I received a call from a person who said their name was Valerio. His approach was not oriented toward understanding my complaints nor satisfying them. He said that there had been no ditches and that he had video from the subcontractor to show that.

I explained that I and two other presidents had been digging the ditches out by hand so I knew that there were ditches. In fact, one of the equipment operators told me every time we spoke that he would be digging out the ditches. The call ended in such a manner that I expected a call back after Mr. Valerio consulted others. As I write this in early February I have not received a return call.

I call upon the Taos County Commission to take action regarding the damages on West Romero Road, old and recent, and all citizens to take whatever action is available to rein in an organization that appears to operate with little oversight and no regard for those it claims to serve.

J. Michael Jones lives in Ranchos de Taos.

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