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CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING

City receives millions in state funding for capital improvements

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The 2021 New Mexico Legislature approved more than $4 million in capital outlay funding for projects in the City of Las Cruces, city legislative lobbyist Larry Horan said at the May 24 city council work session.

Horan said $2.3 million was approved from the city’s $8.55 million capital outlay request. In addition, Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) received more than $1.84 million.

City projects funded included $100,000 for improvements at Branigan Cultural Center, $414,000 for East Mesa road construction, $400,000 for a new passenger terminal at Las Cruces International Airport, $464,000 for law enforcement equipment, $527,000 for septic-tank replacement and $400,000 to extend east Madrid Avenue from Martha Drive to Triviz Drive.

The capital outlay to MVCH will help pay for Casa de Peregrinos emergency food program’s expansion into the former Hose ‘N Hound building in front of MVCH on West Amador Avenue.

Horan said he tracked 131 pieces of legislation during the 60-day session that was held virtually (the state Capitol building was never opened to the public during the session) from Jan. 19 to March 20. Horan said 814 bills and 111 memorials were introduced during the session.

Usually, more than 1,000 bills are introduced in each house of the Legislature during a 60-day session, he said. The number was reduced this year as both the state Senate and House of Representatives implemented rules to limit bills because of the challenges faced by conducting the session virtually because of the pandemic.

Horan said the Legislative Finance Committee is already working on the budget that will be presented at the 30-day legislative session that begins Jan. 18, 2022, and other interim committees are also meeting. He recommended that the city begin to develop its 2022 capital outlay and policy priorities, including a regional behavioral health hospital.