Minutes - Roads Committee




  1. 1. Time and place. The September meeting of the ECIA Road Committee (RC) was held on September 1, 2021 via Zoom, and was called to order at 5:40 pm by the Chair of the RC, James A. Mason, P.E., Ph.D. The Agenda was available on the ECIA website.
  1. 2. Introductions, Quorum, Attendees, Agenda. All four of the RC members, James A. Mason, Amelia Adair, Art Kaiser and Paul Ingraham, were present, so a quorum was achieved.   Also present was ECIA Office Assistant Ciara Walsh and Board Liaison Jonathan Turkle.  Guests present included the following Santa Fe County Public Works (SFCPW) staff members: Gary Giron, SFCPW Department Director; Ivan Trujillo, Engineering Services Manager; and Ryan Ward, Roads, Utilities, Fleet, Traffic and Solid Waste Division Director.  Eldorado residents present included Bette Knight, 53 Cerrado Loop; Angela Anderson, 21 Cagua Rd.; Matthew Lonagan, 20 Cato Rd.; and Brian Nelson, 64 Moya Rd.

Dr. Mason presided as chair of the meeting and Ms. Adair served as secretary. The agenda was adopted as presented. The meeting was recorded.

  1. 3. Minutes. The August 4, 2021 meeting Minutes were approved as presented.
  1. 4. Chair Comments. Dr. Mason welcomed the SFCPW staff and thanked them for participating and focusing on Eldorado roads.  He summarized the RC’s work over the past year, including using data to provide recommended road priorities to the ECIA Board and Santa Fe County.  He also explained how the RC has been using Google Earth to identify slopes and drainage areas; and USGS information to identify soils.
  1. 5. ECIA Board RC Liaison Report: Mr. Turkle noted that the Board has asked all committees, including the RC, to adopt the Code of Ethics contained in the sample Committee Charter. He also discussed the status of a test of a GIS system for the ECIA, which could help identify drainage issues and allow crowd-sourced data, including culvert assessments.


  1. 6. Transportation Advisory Council Update. No new updates.
  1. 7. Old Business/Open Action Items

7.1 Progress/Review of Inspections of Roads in Eldorado. The RC is still working on inspections, but we have redirected our efforts to focus on dirt roads, identifying where the problems are and what’s causing them.

7.2 Survey Equipment and office space.  There have been issues with shipping the back-ordered components.  Mr. Trujillo has asked for help establishing ROW parcel perimeters so the SFCPW team can focus on road work.

ACTION ITEM: Dr. Mason is seeking full size copies of the Eldorado roadway drawings and plat maps, for help communicating with residents about their property boundaries and for surveying purposes.  Mr. Trujillo will help provide those.

7.3 Training and preparation for surveying.  Dr. Mason will schedule a small core group of people for training on the use of the survey equipment and compare to the maps, to be able to do the surveying for ECIA purposes. He is seeking electronic copies of all plat maps and utility maps from SFCPWs.

7.4. SFCPW Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP).  Nothing new to report; the next steps will be working with Eldorado’s congressional delegation to present requests for funding of our requested ICIP priorities as part of the legislative appropriations process.

7.5.  Recent flooding on local roads during monsoon rains.  Dr. Mason presented a powerpoint showing case studies of drainage issues on Gavilan and Puerto Roads. 

ACTION ITEM: Post this powerpoint on the ECIA website.

Dr. Mason explained the photos of Gavilan Rd. showing that the primary problems on these roads result from buried, blocked or crushed culverts which result in stormwater drainage spilling onto the roadways.  (Dr. Mason would like to offer a seminar to teach people to clean out their culverts).  In some areas, water coming down the arroyo flows over the road.

Photos of Puerto Rd. show similar problems with plugged culverts, spilling over from ditches on to the road and onto yards and driveways.  These two case studies are representative of drainage problems on unpaved roads throughout Eldorado; the RC is suggesting to SFC to place a substantial focus on improving the road drainage system as a way to improve those roads.

  1. 8. New Business

8.1.  Special Meeting with the SFCPW Department. 

  • Introductions: Mr. Trujillo, Mr. Giron and Mr. Ward all introduced themselves and explained their roles.
  • Initial comments: all three gentlemen explained they are seeking the RC’s help to communicate with Eldorado residents about, including roadway width (County crews not trespassing when they are clearing vegetation out of ditches), the County’s drainage easements and road parcels.

ACTION ITEM: Ciara Walsh will send copies of the September Vistas to the SFCPW staff here, so they can see the article the RC did regarding these issues.

Mr. Trujillo explained that the road crew dedicated to the Eldorado area is making progress despite being very short staffed.  The intensity and frequency of storms this summer have highlighted the need to assess Eldorado hydrology, and make sure making improvements upstream doesn’t cause more problems downstream.

Mr. Giron thanked the ECIA for advocating for funding at the legislature to address road priorities, and asked for our continuing support for drainage improvements in the upcoming 2022 legislative session.

Mr. Ward discussed the importance of locating property lines and explaining them to the property owners on site before work begins.  The County is currently identifying problem areas so during the “off season” the crews can restore drainage ditches and culverts.  He would really appreciate the RC’s help with identifying issues and meeting with property owners. They are hiring for a new position of survey technician, to identify property corners.

He also explained that the County is contracting with a firm to provide pavement management assessments, which will be included in the County GIS system.  They’re also working in-house on entering GIS data about County roads and assets like culverts.

  • RC members asked the County staff questions and made suggestions
  1. 9. Public Comment.

Bette Knight, 53 Cerrado Loop, asked questions on behalf of the residents of Cerrado Loop.  She had four questions about culverts, erosion across driveways, crumbling edges of the pavement and locations of mailboxes.

ACTION ITEM: Dr. Mason will arrange a field visit with Mr. Ward from SFCPW to look at these issues and discuss solutions.

Angela Anderson, 21 Cagua Rd. asked how residents can request that their road gets paved.  Mr. Ward explained the new policy recently adopted by the SFC Commissioners to evaluate road improvements including paving.  All dirt roads will be scored based on safety, school bus routes, crashes, average daily traffic, right of way width and type of improvement necessary.  In Eldorado, long-standing maintenance problems will be taken into account.  Dr. Mason and Mr. Ward explained that all roads in the ECIA subdivision are owned and maintained by the County, so a request to pave them must be made to the County.

Matthew Lonagan, 20 Cato Rd., requested that SFCPW fix the washboarding that shows up a few weeks after the road is graded.

Brian Nelson, 64 Moya Rd., has suffered from water running off the street and down into his garage 6” to 8” deep, several times within the last month.  Dr. Mason pulled up this area on Google Earth, and discussed the drainage issues with Mr. Trujillo.

ACTION ITEM: Visit Mr. Nelson’s road during the field trip between the RC and SFCPW, to evaluate what drainage changes need to be made.

  1. 10. Next Meeting: The RC meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Next meeting:  October 6, 2021. The committee will continue to meet via Zoom, makes it easier to hold these meetings.

Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm.

By:  Amelia Adair, Secretary                                            Date: September 1, 2021