The Las Cruces City Council will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St. for a regularly scheduled meeting.
The Council will consider the adoption of a Resolution authorizing the City to accept a budget adjustment allocating $12,379,913 in American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds. If approved by City Council the City’s adopted Fiscal Year 2021 to 2022 budget would be amended, as would the City’s Fiscal Year 2021 to 2022 Capital Improvement Plan.
In response to economic hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ARPA Act has provided direct allocation to the City to aid in recovery efforts. Altogether, the City was allocated $24,759,826.
The funding is intended to be used for the following funding objectives, as defined in the Act: 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 impact of the pandemic.
In three City Council Work Sessions in June, July, and August, City staff presented recommendations from City administration to allocate the entire amount of $24.8 million. Each work session presented detailed information on the recommended allocations.
The funding will be allocated as Council recommended during the three work sessions in the following manner
- $2 million to support public health response.
- $6.9 million to replace public sector revenue loss for capital needs.
- $11.4 million to address negative economic impacts.
- $3.5 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure.
- $1 million for premium pay.
The budget adjustment will allocate the first tranche of funding into the ARPA defined priority areas.
Also, at Monday’s meeting, City Council will consider adoption of an Ordinance that could limit the use of single-use plastic carryout bags in certain retail operations in Las Cruces. The City is committed to reducing harmful impacts of plastic pollution on human health, wildlife, and the environment.
A household uses approximately 1,500 single-use plastic bags a year, with the average time of use lasting only 12 minutes. The uses of single-use plastic bags and their typical disposal rates create an impediment to the City’s waste reduction and recycling goals while creating unsightly litter.
Single-use plastic bags are difficult to recycle and frequently contaminate materials that are processed through the city's curbside recycling program. Reusable bags are the preferred option to reduce waste and litter, protect wildlife and conserve resources; and help eliminate a source for toxins.
Of 1,600 residents who responded to a city survey, 70 percent reported they would start or continue using reusable bags or buy bags as a result of the proposed ordinance.
If adopted, the ordinance would become effective Jan. 1, 2022. The Ordinance to be considered by City Council proposes a $100 fine for retailers for a first offense.
Additionally, City Council will consider an Ordinance that would repeal and replace the existing Chapter 7, Animals, in the Las Cruces Municipal Code. The new version includes, among other things, provisions for a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program.
The Animal Care Task Force has reviewed all of the City's animal ordinances and determined they need to be amended and modernized to better serve the community.
The proposed Ordinance includes provisions for a TNR program that was approved by City Council, with Resolution 21-174, on May 17, 2021. The purpose of the proposed TNR program in the new version of the Municipal Code is to provide a humane alternative to euthanasia to control feral cat populations by live-trapping cats, spaying or neutering them, ear-tipping the cats for identification, vaccinating them, and then returning them to area where they were trapped.
The proposed ordinance includes other changes to Chapter 7, such as microchipping and identification requirements, enforcement provisions for barking dogs, special permits for drakes, and definitions of pigeons. The proposed changes were brought to City Council during a work session on March 8, 2021.
The agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting is available online at https://lascruces.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=218.
Monday’s meeting will be televised live on CLC-TV, Comcast Cable channel 20. The meeting will also be available at clctv.com and at YouTube.com/clctv20.
Prior to Monday’s meeting, City Council will conduct a Closed Meeting at 11 a.m. at City Hall. The Council will meet in closed session to discuss potential litigation.