Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Rio Communities' Incorporation Bid Runs Into Roadblock.(Metropolitan)

Byline: Donna Redman For the Journal

RIO COMMUNITIES A petition drive to put an incorporation measure on the ballot hit a snag this week after organizers learned they need approval from the city of Belen to push ahead with the initiative.

"We've hit a roadblock," said Cyndi Sluder, who heads the committee leading the Rio Communities incorporation effort. "Somebody said we have to get approval from the city of Belen before we can go any further with this. I want to be sure we do this right the first time, so I'm checking it out before we pass the petitions."

Sluder said someone in a previous effort to incorporate brought the matter to her attention.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Randy Van Vleck, general counsel with the New Mexico Municipal League, said that by law, any community within a five-mile radius of an "urbanized territory" can seek incorporation only if it satisfies one of three criteria: that it receive approval from the municipality; that it had petitioned to be annexed to the municipality and was rejected; or that it can prove that the city is unable to provide necessary services to the community. …

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