Residents ask for help

State Senator Leo Jaramillo takes notes from San Pedro resident Tom Montoya during a June 23 town hall meeting at the community center in San Pedro. The town hall brought residents from San Pedro and La Mesilla together to discuss issues with easements from Santa Clara Pueblo.

  State Senator Leo Jaramillo and Rio Arriba County Commissioner Christine Bustos met the evening of June 23 with constituents in San Pedro and La Mesilla at the Henry Roybal Memorial Park in San Pedro to discuss issues with easements onto the Santa Clara Pueblo.

    The road easements create problems when government entities wish to maintain or enhance roads, or when homeowners wish to sell or refinance their homes. Easement issues can prevent those types of things from happening.

    Jaramillo said when he was a County commissioner he used a portion of his discretionary spending to hire a surveyor to survey the easements. In comparing the survey to the Pueblos’ records some minor errors in the survey were found, mostly in the legal descriptions of the survey data and the survey not being done up to Bureau of Indian Affairs standards. The surveys will help provide a fair market value for the easements so that hopefully a deal can be reached with the Pueblo.

    “We told the Pueblo it has to be a permanent thing, they didn’t say yes, but they said they understand,” Jaramillo said

    San Pedro resident Tom Montoya said damages for a lawsuit would be hard to identify because residents are cautious about trying to sell or refinance their homes.

    “We’ve not even tried because (we) know it’s a waste of time,” Montoya said.

    Governor J. Michael Chavarria of the Santa Clara pueblo had no comment at this time.

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