Proposed council tax hike could solve problems with Belen Police Department

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BELEN, NM (KRQE) – The town of Belen is asking townspeople for a tax hike to repair the 120-year-old police station. The ministry said it was an urgent problem, saying the building was collapsing and needed $ 2.5 million to fix everything.

An old building a few blocks from Main Street in Belen has had a lot of life in its 121-year history. From wool, wood and banks to a fire station before the town turned it into a police station 30 years ago. “We had issues through the building in rooms that weren’t usable. and re-sheet shook and had new frame walls put in place around it, ”said Sgt. Mario Vallejos, BPD’s administrative detective.

With wear and tear throughout the facility and a lackluster electrical system, Vallejos says it’s difficult for officers to do their jobs. “If we are not installed and ready to operate in this facility where we can bring in these kind of personnel all the time and be able to work in the facility, then we are not able to respond to the public as best as possible. we can, ”said Vallejos.

It’s not just structural damage and cramped spaces the 24 agents and staff in the facility’s department have to contend with. “The problems we have in the building are this: there are really big plumbing problems, we have tons of backups and so on. We have black mold issues that we had to move our command staff out of certain areas of the building because it’s a health issue, ”Vallejos said.

Now the city is asking its constituents to approve a property tax increase to raise $ 2.5 million to give the building a complete renovation with an eye on the future. The property tax hike would be between $ 3 and $ 5 per month for most homes. The election is Tuesday, November 2.


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