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FAQs

General Questions

  • Why is internet service so spotty at my house? Same with cell service. What can I do about it?
    • There are two reasons for the poor internet and mobile service. We live in the country and it is hilly.
    • Business economics for providers show that with a low population density, the rate of return for the business is marginal. We pay the about same as folks in town which has a much higher population density. And with that, rate of return in town is much better for the provider. If our neighborhood was flat, “line of sight” could allow much better coverage for a smaller investment.
    • Cell Service: Generally, in our neighborhood, Sprint and Verizon have the best cell service. They use the tower on Camino de los Montoyas, which can provide line of sight for almost everyone.
    • Internet Service: Main providers in the neighborhood are:
      • Comcast
      • Century Link
      • Cyber Mesa
      • NM Surf
      • The three most important things to remember for picking internet service is: location, location, and location.  As all providers charge generally the same monthly fee, where you live is the biggest factor.  
        • Homes east of Ridgetop may be able to get service from Comcast.  Homes within a mile of the intersection of Tano and Montoyos can get good speeds from Century Link.  Cyber Mesa and NM Surf use microwave, so they need line of sight to their transmitter base.  
      • Satellite providers such as Viasat, HughesNet can provide service but have data caps.  Later in 2020, Starlink has planned beta testing of their satellite network.  Stay tuned!
    • Check with your immediate neighbors for their experience.  Also, call all of the providers to see which one can be the best fit for your requirements.  
  • Is it a good idea to mulch outdoor plants, and install a drip-irrigation system for my annuals, perennials and specimen trees?
    • In general, yes. But it is best to seek the advice of a landscaper who is looking at your specific site and plantings.
  • Do I need to water my trees during the winter?
    • Yes. But not as frequently as you do during the summer months.
  • My neighbor gets a discount on her propane through the TRA. How do I get that too?
    • The TRA has a special deal with Ferrellgas which guarantees a price range with an upper limit for one year. This is only available to current, paid-up members of the TRA. You must also own your own tank, or lease it from Ferrellgas.
    • Contact Steve Barthelme for more details.
  • Is the well water in the Tano Road area hard, soft or variable? Does it need to be treated with a softener or conditioner. Is it safe to drink?
    • The well water tends to be on the hard side. This means that there can be a mineral build-up in your pipes, dishwasher, and other surfaces.
    • It would be a good idea to have your water tested for hardness (and any other material, including bacteria, you want to know about), and seek the advice of a good plumber on what kind of system (softener or conditioner) would be best for your home and your budget.
  • What is ‘cheatgrass,’ and should I be concerned if I have it in my yard?
    • Cheatgrass, also known as foxtail, is something to watch for. It is usually the first green grass to appear in the spring, it grows rapidly, then turns brown and dies in mid-to-late June.
    • The ripe seed heads have fine barbs on them which can pierce skin on humans, dogs and cats causing serious trouble if it moves into flesh, ears, paws, and even organs. Cheatgrass can be controlled with various methods, each one depending in what stage of growth you address the problem.
    • In March 2020, the following excellent article in the Santa Fe New Mexican addressed ways to manage the cheatgrass in your yard: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/a-serious-weed-is-loose-in-santa-fe/article_a40b9fc0-5d92-11ea-bfe9-536921a4849f.html
  • What environmental factors trigger a bark beetle infestation?
    • Bark beetle can be troublesome for a homeowner, and if not addressed properly it can become a community problem.
    • For a thorough discussion of the signs, treatments and recommendations for bark beetle, click on the following link (or find the PDF booklet located in the “Resources/TRA Booklets” tab of our website). https://tanoroad.org/wp-content/uploads/Bark_Beetle.pdf.
  • If I am having a dispute with a neighbor, will the TRA get involved?
    • No. That is not the purpose of the TRA. Please work it out amongst yourselves.
  • If I have a question or am looking for service providers recommendations, what is the best place to go for that information?
    • Ask a neighbor or go to NextDoor.com.

Questions for New Residents:

  • Having just moved from Chicago, we are not familiar with the climate in this part of the country. What are the seasons like?
    • At 7,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe’s air is thinner (less oxygen) and drier than most of the rest of the USA. It is considered “high desert” which means cold isn’t as cold, hot isn’t as hot, and skin may not appear quite as youthful! Average annual precipitation ranges from 10-12”.
    • There are four distinct seasons, but there can be variance in temperatures and precipitation from year to year. Winters can be classified as having ‘lots of snow,’ to ‘hardly any snow.’ Springs can be wet or dry, although the “Monsoon season” is pretty reliable for delivering rains in July and August—typically in late afternoon thunderstorms. Fall is beautiful, dry and cool.
  • I have recently moved here and have just heard that hantavirus and the plague can be concerns. Should I be worried? How can you contract these diseases?
    • Hantavirus is very rare in our area. It can be transmitted through the feces, saliva or urine of infected rodents. It can cause severe respiratory distress. Controlling the rodent population around your home is the best strategy against this illness.
    • Plague is also very rare in our area. It is carried by rodents (mice, prairie dogs) and small mammals (rabbits). Fleas that eat off of these animals can transmit the disease to dogs or humans bitten by the fleas. Rodent control is a good strategy to avoid contact with the plague.
    • Please be warned: we strongly discourage the use of rodenticides which poison not only the rodents, but as a result, birds, cats, dogs, and other critters we want to protect. There are other means and services to control the rodent population—traps, pest control services—rather than using poisons.
  • This is our first time living outside of a city, and we are new to owning (or sharing) a well, a septic tank, propane tank and other off-the-grid necessities. What do I need to know about drilling, maintaining, and servicing this equipment?
    • Most residents in the Tano Road area are on well water—either individual or shared. If your well was not inspected before you moved into your home, you should have a well expert check it out thoroughly. He/she will be able to tell you, based on its condition, what you need to do to maintain it.
    • Your septic tank needs to be drained periodically. This, too, should have been done before you moved in. A septic company will tell you how often you should drain and inspect your septic tank, based on its size, the number of people living in your home, and general usage.
    • If you have a propane tank, you should set up a contract with a propane company to take care of refilling it. One option is for them to come on a ‘keep full’ basis, in which they establish a schedule based on your usage. Another option is where you must check the level of your tank and call them when you need to refill it.
  • We are new to living in the Southwest and have never owned an adobe-style stucco home with a flat roof? Are there any particular things we should know about the maintenance or quirks of this kind of home?
    • Stucco maintenance: Stucco can crack and that allows moisture to enter the wall space. This can be avoided by keeping the stucco exterior sealed with caulk, sealant or even re-stucco-ing.
    • Flat Roof: Maintenance is essential with a flat roof. It should be inspected annually in order to stay on top of potential problems with maintenance or repairs to the seal or structure.
    • Wi-Fi: Centrally located router may not transmit WiFi through some adobe walls because of their thickness. You may need to have more than one modem, DSL line, or otherwise adjust if WiFi is needed in a distant room.
  • Before moving to Santa Fe, we heard that there are rattlesnakes throughout the Southwest. Are they common in the Tano Road area? Are there other snakes we need to be aware of?
    • While there are rattlesnakes in the Southwest, they are a rare occurrence in the Tano Road area. However, there are some sightings reported that turn out NOT to be rattlers, but bull snakes.
    • Adult bull snakes are actually larger than rattle snakes, but their markings are very similar. The head of a bull snake is streamlined, and their eyes are on the sides of it. A rattle snake has a triangular head, wider than its neck, and eyes that are in the front of it. The most significant distinction between the two are that while rattle snakes are venomous, bull snakes are constrictors. They might bite if threatened, but that is relatively uncommon and their bite is NOT poisonous.
    • Bull snakes are very helpful to us because their diet consists of those rodents we try to get rid of: mice, gophers, pack rats, lizards etc. In other words, we should appreciate them, not fear them.
    • The confusion between bull snakes and rattlesnakes is generated not only by their similar markings, but the fact that for defensive purposes, the bull snake has evolved to be able to resemble the posture and sound of a rattler. They have a flap in the back of their mouths, and when threatened they assume a coiled position, raise their tail and shake it while exhaling hard through their mouth. The air flow past this flap creates a rattling sound that is indistinguishable from the sound of the rattle on a rattlesnake. Closer inspection (not necessarily recommended) reveals that there is no rattle on the tip of the tail at all.
  • The Southwest is often depicted with the images of coyotes. Are there coyotes in the Tano Road area, and is this something to be concerned about?
    • Yes, there are coyotes here. You can hear them howling under the moon at night, which means they have found their dinner. However, like most wildlife, there is plenty of natural fare for them to eat, such as berries, nuts, mice and gophers, rabbits, etc.
    • It is strongly advised that you not leave your dogs or cats outside unattended. Cats should always remain indoors, and smaller dogs should be outside only on leash. While large dogs are not usually prey for coyotes, a pack may send out its friendliest member to entice a bigger dog to play, and then when the dog tires the pack will gang up on it.
  • I am new to the vegetation in the Southwest, in particular cactus. What do I need to know about cacti? If I have dogs, do I need to remove any that are on my property?
    • There are many varieties of cacti here in the Santa Fe area. They range from beautiful and elegant to hazardous if you or your pet gets ‘stuck’ by it.
    • Some people choose to remove cacti in their yard to avoid contact, particularly with cholla and prickly pear, which can cause a painful prick if you get stuck.