Weekly News & Updates From Los Alamos County

Published November 4, 2022

Upcoming Events

Change your clock, check your alarms this weekend  

It is that time again. Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clock backward one hour before you go to bed Saturday night. Remember to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Smoke alarms are a vital part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.  


Smoke Alarms Safety Tips 

Smoke alarms, like other household appliances, don’t last forever. Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms usually need to be replaced after ten (10) years. Here are some essential facts to remember about your smoke alarms.


• Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke or working smoke alarms.  

• In a fire, smoke spreads farther and faster than fire. More people die from breathing smoke than from burns.  

• When people are asleep, deadly smoke fumes can cause them to sink into unconsciousness and then die long before flames ever reach them.  

• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.  

• It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.  

• Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. 

• Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology, including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined. 

• A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least ten (10) feet or three (3) meters from the stove. 

Home improvement workshop

Are you planning a home improvement project? Los Alamos Community Development is here to help by providing answers to all your code, permitting, planning, and zoning questions in a free, informative workshop.

Saturday, November 12

9:00 a.m.–Noon

Fuller Lodge

Refreshments will be served

Questions? Call 505.662.8120


First half of property taxes due Dec. 12

Property tax bills for 2022 were mailed to property owners by Los Alamos County’s Finance Department on October 26. The deadline for the first half of property taxes is December 10, but has been extended to Monday, Dec. 12 due to the weekend. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure property taxes are paid to avoid late payment penalty and interest charges.

Read the full press release for payment options here: https://www.losalamosnm.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=6435810...

Hazard Mitigation Survey now open

Los Alamos County Emergency Management (EM) Division is conducting a study to better understand the preparedness needs and risk perceptions of those who live and work in the County as part of the Hazard Mitigation Plan update process. To do so, a questionnaire has been created, and EM encourages the entire community to participate. The Hazard Mitigation Survey is open to the public today, November 1 through 18, 2022.

The purpose of hazard mitigation planning is to identify policies and actions that can be implemented before a disaster occurs to reduce risk and future losses. Mitigation forms the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

“Understanding community perceptions when assessing potential risks will help us prioritize and plan mitigation projects accordingly,” explains Cody Ulrich, Los Alamos County Emergency Management Specialist.

The questionnaire should only take about 10 minutes to complete. All responses will be kept confidential, and the community’s participation is strictly voluntary. The public’s input will enable the County to better serve the community through the Hazard Mitigation Plan update process. If you have any questions, please contact Cody Ulrich at (505) 662-8290.

Utility bill mailing issues discovered

We've learned that the mailing of our paper bills by our third-party vendor hit a sudden stop on October 12th! If this affects you, we are printing here in the office as quickly as we can and aim to mail out all missed bills by November 2. Apologies for the delay, and for the lack of a return envelope. We aren't set up for bulk mailing here and don't have the supplies necessary to include those envelopes.

No one will be penalized with late fees for our mistake!

Call us at 505.662.8333 if you'd like. Customers on eBilling were unaffected, so if you're interested in getting your bills by email, just let us know!

Three handy links:

1) View bills online: https://ladpu.com/Utilities-Portal

2) Pay bills online: https://ladpu.com/Paymentus

3) Email Customer Care with questions on balances or metered usage: CustomerCare@lacnm.us.

Absentee ballots due on election day

Absentee Voters: You have just four days to return your mail-in ballots to the County Clerk’s Office! Make sure that your ballot is returned to the County Clerk by Election Day, November 8th, by 7 p.m. How do you return your ballot?

- By mail (must arrive at the County Clerk’s office by 11/8, 7 p.m.)

- By dropping it off at a voting site

- By dropping it off at any secure drive-thru ballot drop box

Winter driving

Winter weather is here, and the County would like to remind residents of some important safety considerations for motorists to take to make their travel as safe as possible.

Motorists should make sure their vehicle is ready for winter driving by making sure the washer fluid reservoir is topped off with washer fluid that is winter rated, the windshield wipers are functional and working properly, the defroster is in good working order, each vehicle is equipped with a functional ice scraper, and that snow is cleared from the windows, roof, and hood of the vehicle before traveling on snowy days. Additionally, motorists are encouraged to equip their vehicles with chains and/or snow tires and carry a container of sand and a shovel in their vehicle. 

Barrels of sand for public use are placed at locations that historically become icy and slick during storms, including:

-      Esperanza (near mailboxes),

-      North Mesa Road (hill),

-      Quemazon Road (at intersection of North Road),

-      Quemazon Road (near mailboxes),

-      Cheryl Court (between 337 and 375 in shady area), and

-      Other locations as requested by staff or citizens.

Streets may be snow-packed and slippery during winter storms. It is the responsibility of every motorist to have their vehicle properly equipped and serviced to handle such conditions, and to drive their vehicle carefully and courteously during adverse conditions. 

During storms, drivers are asked to be alert and courteous to County crews, who will be doing their best to keep the streets open and safe for traveling. Please assist them in this difficult task by yielding to their efforts and keeping a safe distance away to avoid having vehicles struck by flying sand and salt.

Winter sidewalk guidelines

During the winter months, the County would like to remind residents it is important to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice so that they remain pass­able for postal workers, children walking to school and others who need to use them. When possible, and depend­ing upon available resources, County crews will conduct sidewalk-clearing operations by removing snow first from the adopted “safe routes to school,” and then other selected sidewalks. The County does not clear every sidewalk due to limited resources. Sidewalk priorities are listed below:

1.     Safe routes to school and heavy pedestrian areas where sidewalks are adjacent to

primary arterials and the Central Avenue business district

2.     Public walkways for which the County is responsible

3.     Pathways along SR 4 in White Rock

4.     Ramps and steps at the Golf Course tunnel (cleared by Golf Course personnel)

5.     Steps at the tunnel at the Roundabout

6.     Sidewalk areas around bus shelters that require hand cleaning

The County’s complete Snow and Ice Control Plan has detailed listings of the sidewalks which are prioritized for clearing.

Unless significant accumulations are encountered (greater than 6 inches), residents are encouraged to wait until after the snowfall has ceased. If snowfalls are greater than 6 inches, residents are requested to periodically clear sidewalks around their property to allow for safe passage of pedestrians. Where practical, property owners should clear sidewalks within 24 hours after the snowfall ceases. In most areas, it is to be expected that plowing operations will deposit snow in driveways and on sidewalks. These will be cleared only after emergency response has ended and mop-up operations have begun.

In addition, if there is a drainage structure in front of or near the resident’s property, residents can assist crews by clearing it to allow snow melt to reach the structure and avoid ponding in the area. Ponded water can re-freeze and cause hazardous conditions.

The following suggestions are offered in the spirit of working together with the public, to simplify all snow and ice control efforts:

-      Place shoveled snow on the backside of the sidewalk. Direct the chutes of snow blowers and shovel snow toward lawn areas whenever possible, rather than toward the street. This will provide lawns with addi­tional moisture and prevent that same snow from being plowed back onto surfaces previously cleared by residents.

-      Park cars in off-street parking areas whenever possible. This allows for easier access by the snowplow operators and a more consistent and comprehensive snow-clearing effort.

-      If it is necessary to park on the street, don’t park vehicles over storm drain inlets. This slows the drainage process and causes ice buildup, creating potentially hazardous conditions.

-      Place a mixture of sand and salt on sidewalks with persistent ice.

Residents with questions are asked to call the County’s Traffic & Streets Division at 662-8113 or email us at lacpw@lacnm.us.

Tidbits and Treasures

Affordable Arts Gallery Show

The last Gallery Show of the year will take place from November 25-January 2nd. Come find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends while supporting local artists!

Brown Bag performers needed

Now accepting applications for not only music but also poetry readings, short plays, dances etc.! Applications are free and open until all the dates are filled!

Dates still available: June 7, September 6, October 4, and November 1

Performances are one hour from 12-1 on the first Wednesday of every month. 

Performers are given a $100 Honorarium check!

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