The Las Cruces City Council has approved a Resolution renewing an Emergency Proclamation that clarifies the requirements regarding the use of face masks by people who attend City Council meetings in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
The Council’s action to adopt the Resolution came at a Special Meeting on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. The Emergency Proclamation will remain in effect concurrently with Executive Order 2021-044, issued July 23, 2021 by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and a New Mexico Public Health Order, issued July 30, 2021.
The purpose of the Emergency Proclamation asserts the City of Las Cruces remains in a state of public health emergency. The Emergency Proclamation also establishes safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during in-person City Council meetings.
Facial coverings will be required from individuals who cannot provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before entering Council Chambers at City Hall. The Emergency Proclamation also mandates attendees in Council Chambers to practice social distancing by sitting at least six feet from each other during Council meetings.
Social distancing and facial coverings will also continue to be required in other public areas of City Hall for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
In Monday’s Work Session, City Council discussed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds. The discussions focused on $10.4 million in ARPA funds that will be used for community and economic development initiatives. City staff presented more in-depth information on the Request for Proposals and public input process.
City Council supported the use of a scoring matrix and an evaluation process to help determine who is awarded ARPA funding. The submission of applications will be an official procurement process, and the Council also wants short, capsulized project summaries of all qualified requests for ARPA funding.
The City received $12,379,913 on May 19, 2021 from the U.S. Treasury and will receive a second tranche of $12,379,913 in May 2022. The funds will provide the City a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be used to address the pandemic’s economic fallout and should lay a foundation for a strong and equitable recovery for the City.
The funding, as defined in the Act, is intended to be used for the following objectives: to support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control; to replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs; to support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses; and to address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the in-equal impact of the pandemic.
At City Council Work Sessions on June 14 and July 12, City staff members presented initial plans and possible options for ARPA funding. The distribution of ARPA funding, as proposed, is as follows:
- $2 million to support the public health response.
- $6.9 million to replace public sector revenue losses.
- $11.4 million to address negative economic impacts, of which $10.4 million could be allotted for community and economic development initiatives.
- $3.5 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure.
- $1 million to provide premium pay to essential City workers.
Additionally, at Monday’s Work Session, City Council received updates on economic development partnerships. Reports were presented by the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market, the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, and Film Las Cruces.
Each partner reviewed its metrics from the previous year with Council and reported on accomplishments and challenges it had during the past year. The four economic development partners are required to report annually to City Council.