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The original item was published from 1/30/2023 1:27:13 PM to 3/20/2023 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash

District 3 News

Posted on: January 19, 2023

[ARCHIVED] 2023 Legislative Priorities

Street Construction with Backhoe and people with safety vests and hard hats working

Since fiscal year 2018, the City of Las Cruces has been awarded just under $30 million for improvements and programs by the New Mexico Legislature.

This funding has made a MAJOR difference in public safety and quality of life for the community. Between Police and Fire Services, more than $2.2 million has been provided to fund squad vehicles, station improvements, communication systems, and safety equipment. 

The City of Las Cruces wants to continue to improve responses to critical situations with modern equipment, updated facilities, and new technology.

Since 2018, more than $6 million has been awarded for facility improvements to City buildings that provide programs for lowincome and vulnerable populations. And Las Cruces loves the parks! Over $3.3 million in funding has been invested in park improvements and equipment in the last few years. 

From playgrounds and facility upgrades to pool enhancements and soccer field improvements, residents have a greatly improved quality of life! The work in Las Cruces isn’t done yet! The City has assembled a list of ten capital project asks totaling just under $30 million for this session.

Capital Project Funding Requests

Sewer Installation Project

Residential septic systemStreet Construction with Backhoe and people with safety vests and hard hats workings can cause negative environmental impacts including damaging valuable groundwater supplies. The City of Las Cruces is asking for $2.8 million to continue the work of removing septic systems within 1,000 feet of municipal water wells to assure residents a clean, safe supply of drinking water.

The requested funding will help continue projects already taking place, including at Brittany Estates/Estados Serenos southwest of Interstate 25 near New Mexico State University and Phase 2 of the improvements at Hacienda Acres on the city’s East Mesa. Municipal wells cost the city about $1 million each and this funding will prevent having to unexpectedly shut a well down due to unsafe nitrate levels from older septic systems.


Spruce & Telshor Intersection

Spruce and Telshor intersection aerial view in Las CrucesThe intersections of Telshor Boulevard and Triviz Drive with Spruce Avenue on either side of the Interstate 25 overpass are some of the city’s busiest and most congested intersections.

Working with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), the City of Las Cruces is proposing to reconfigure turning lane designations onto Spruce Avenue and improving the traffic signals to reduce motorists’ travel time and provide safer access for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The $650,000 project will also improve public safety and reduce emissions from stationary vehicles.


LiftUp - Street Lighting & Roadway Improvements 

Street Lights from an aerial view in the eveningLiftUp Las Cruces is a multi-departmental effort of the City of Las Cruces to improve neighborhoods one at a time. The program identifies needs or concerns within a neighborhood and allows the City to focus resources in one place to make a larger impact. New streetlights are designated for the northwest corner of the LiftUp area to increase safety and visibility. The present streetlights in this area are based on poles spaced 250 feet apart using halogen lighting. Since upgrading the lights to LED, pole spacing needs to be condensed to 150 feet. These improvements will take place in the area bordered by Madrid Avenue, Solano Drive, Elder Street, and Ash Avenue.

Certain streets within the LiftUp area are in need of improvements to address handicap accessibility, improve pedestrian connectivity, repair drainage issues, replace missing curbs, gutters, and sidewalk gaps. Improvements will be spread throughout the area based on additional field surveys. In addition, the improvements will modernize the aesthetics and appeal of the neighborhoods.


Las Cruces Fire Stations Improvements

Fire Station Garage Door Bays and Driveway at station 5 in Las CrucesThe Las Cruces Fire Department staffs and maintains eight fire stations throughout the community, and several of these buildings need repairs and improvements. Four specific fire stations are slated for updates in the city’s $820,000 request that include a wide range of enhancements, from exterior stucco, double-paned windows, better apparatus bay doors, and safety enhancements.

Fire stations require focused funding to prolong the lifespan of the buildings and provide a better quality of workspace for the firefighters that call these fire stations home.


East Mesa Roads and Drainage

Water pooling at an intersection on the City of Las Cruces' East MesaGrowth along the US 70 corridor on the city’s East Mesa has resulted in many dirt roads and semiimproved roads that need updates to better handle the increased amount of traffic. This project will include improved drainage systems that will provide better road access during heavy weather events.

Las Cruces Utilities Department is also working to fund simultaneous improvements to the area’s utility infrastructure.


University Area Complete Streets

University Avenue in Las Cruces looking toward the Organ mountains in the backgroundAs one of the major east-west traffic corridors in the City of Las Cruces, University Avenue is a vital transportation route that connects the City’s University District to the main campus of New Mexico State University. Rethinking the design of this corridor and its connecting streets is essential to create a safe and desirable place for students, residents, and visitors. The construction of walking and cycling paths has been proven to support active living and better health outcomes for the community. Green infrastructure and more trees on the street can offer environmental benefits, and improvements to the corridor will enhance public transportation, moving the City’s Climate Action Plan forward. The City would plan to partner with NMSU to engage the community and the university to achieve common goals.


Police Equipment

Photo of Officer Chest with vest and worn equipment including badge and radioModern law enforcement requires the adoption of new technology to help improve the safety of officers and the public, as well as helping to solve and deter crime. The Las Cruces Police Department is requesting funds to buy and replace body worn cameras which are mandatory for all officers to use.

New cameras will be purchased for new officers and older cameras with old technology will be replaced.


Airport Improvements

Airplane parked at the Las Cruces International AirportThe Las Cruces International Airport is a thriving regional airport located on the city’s west side. The City is focused on developing the airport as an asset for economic development. To support the return of commercial passenger service, improvements and expanded infrastructure are needed for the facility. A new runway project will support a greater flight load at the airport, and improvements to the passenger terminal and related infrastructure are required, as is the relocation and construction of a new fuel farm. The airport also requires a maintenance facility and rehabilitation to the on-site water tank, the airport and industrial park’s primary water source. Runway 4/22 is currently closed due to the need of significant rehabilitation, including new pavement and runway lighting.

These improvements will promote safe aircraft operations and economic development through improved drone research and testing opportunities with partners such as the New Mexico State University Physical Science Lab.


Park Improvements

Gazebo at Pioneer Park in Las CrucesThe City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department works to provide recreational opportunities for the entire population, encompassing all abilities, interests, and skill levels. The City’s parks are designed to provide residents and visitors experiences to improve their overall personal health and well-being. Located on South Espina Street, Tony Gomez Park is a local favorite for its open green spaces and versatility for many outdoor recreational activities, including baseball, cricket, football, rugby, and a popular walking path for residents. The park also serves as a rainwater harvesting site for the City.

With the community’s support, the City Council approved a list of updates and improvements in July 2022. Plans include the replacement of the current dirt parking area with a new paved lot with approximately 64 parking spaces which will improve access to park facilities. As the City’s first public park, Pioneer Women’s Park features mature trees and a central gazebo that was first built in 1898. Many repairs and renovations have been made to the gazebo over the years, the most recent being in the 1970s. In June 2022, the City Council approved plans to renovate and make improvements to the structure as per the 2019 Pioneer Women’s Park Conceptual Master Plan. Plans include the construction of new pergolas with vines reflective of the historic nature of the gazebo along with improvements to the gazebo itself utilizing durable, long-lasting, maintainable materials. 

A new plaza will be constructed with flowering trees to give the community a new gathering space. The playground structure at the A. Fielder Memorial Safe Haven, Weed and Seed Program has been out of commission due to safety concerns. This funding would be used to replace a safety surface, playground equipment, and shade structure.


Tourism Improvements

Veterans Park aerial view of the helicopterTourism is essential to the City of Las Cruces as it brings visitors to experience our beautiful community and stimulate our local economy. Our City Parks and Museums are both key attractions for visitors.

One of the most visited parks in Las Cruces by out-of-town visitors, Veterans’ Memorial Park, needs a new visitor’s center to provide shade, directional and monument information, and a gathering space for visitors and events. 

The City’s Trails Loop provides an outdoor recreation multi-use trail system that is in need of wayfinding signage for ease of use. 

The Branigan Cultural Center is in a Registered Historic building that needs repair to the exterior stucco and drainage around the building to ensure the continued existence of this important local center. 

The Railroad Museum needs improvements to the stucco and woodwork on the exterior. Reinterpretation of exhibits will improve visitor experiences by enhancing stories of the local, regional, and national importance of the railroad in developing the Southwest. 

The Museum of Nature and Science will be redesigned to better highlight the achievements of local scientists, as well as the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert.


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