Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Albuquerque balloon fiesta RV campground deemed hazardous

A campground that hosts thousands of recreational vehicles every year during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been declared off-limits after state inspectors discovered 15 safety hazards with electrical equipment on the site.

It's not clear if the problems can be fixed in time for this fall's fiesta, a city official says.

The land in question is the 78-acre former Los Angeles Landfill. It lies just south of Balloon Fiesta Park and every year hosts 1,200 to 1,500 RVs as part of the fiesta. As a campground, the land brings in at least $100,000 a year for the fiesta, one official estimated.

The hazards include insecure circuit breakers, substandard equipment and electric lines that run near water lines or standing pools of water, according to a report issued in April by the state Occupational Health and Safety Bureau.

"It is my recommendation that the existing service equipment for the RV use be de-energized and removed," wrote state consultant Gene Ostmeyer, who said the system presented a "potentially huge liability."
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