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City council adopts capital outlay priorities, 2 percent for public art, pathways to immigration


At its Nov. 15 regular meeting, the Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution establishing the city's top 10 capital outlay project priorities to be submitted to the 2022 New Mexico Legislature for its state funding considerations. The legislature meets in a 30-day session Santa Fe beginning Jan. 18.

The projects, which total $19.85 million, are

  • $7 million for East Mesa roads and drainage;
  • $4.6 million for septic tank replacements in Las Cruces;
  • $1.5 million for improvements to the Telshor Boulevard and Spruce Avenue intersection;
  • $180,000 to purchase equipment for the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD);
  • $750,000 for LCPD building improvements;
  • $750,000 to purchase equipment for the Las Cruces Fire Department (LCFD);
  • $840,000 for LCFD fire station building improvements;
  • $2 million for skate parks in Las Cruces;
  • $2 million for an expanded parking area and related infrastructure, utilities and flood control at Veterans Memorial Park; and
  • $230,000 for improvements to the Juvenile Citation Program building.

All the projects are on the approved state Infrastructure Capital Improvement Project list, and were selected based on readiness, the amount of funding required to complete the project and the potential to complete the project in phases. The projects also align with the city’s long-term planning.

Also at the Nov. 15 meeting, the city council unanimously adopted an ordinance that adds a new division and corresponding sections to the city code that dedicates a 2 percent apportionment of eligible general obligation bond funds for public art.

Funds generated by the ordinance will become a funding source for the city’s public art program.

Other funding for public art comes from grants, private fundraising and the city’s general fund.

The city council also adopted a resolution titled “Pathway to Citizenship for New Mexico’s Immigrant Families.” The city has made commitments to welcome undocumented immigrants and to uphold and protect their civil rights.

The resolution supports a pathway to citizenship for as many as 60,000 undocumented immigrants living in New Mexico and 11 million who are living and working in the U.S. It states nearly one in 10 New Mexico residents is an immigrant, and undocumented immigrants in New Mexico help drive the economy by being members of the state’s labor force in the industries of agriculture, hospitality, food services, construction, building and grounds maintenance and commercial transportation.

Immigrants are vital members of New Mexico’s communities and labor force, accounting for two-fifths of New Mexico’s fishers, farmers and foresters, and about one-quarter of employees in the construction industry.