The present and possible future of General Obligation (GO) Bond projects were discussed by the Las Cruces City Council at its Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 Work Session at City Hall.
Two agenda items, a quarterly update of $35.6 million in GO Bond improvements being made throughout the City, and an update of the City’s 2022 GO Bond program were presented to City Council.
The council was updated by City staff members that GO Bond improvements for ball fields at the Hadley Recreation Complex have been completed 46 days ahead of the time initially projected to finish those projects. Improvements have been made at Ralph Maag Park, Jim Harty Field, Raymond Paz Park, and Ron Gall T-ball Field.
Improvements for City parks and sports courts, which include repairs to Hillrise Court, 2619 Hillrise; Lions Park tennis courts, 701 E. Picacho Ave.; the outdoor basketball court at Frank O’Brien Papen Center, 304 W. Bell Ave.; the tennis court at Young Park, 1905 Nevada Ave., are now 79 percent complete. A large shade structure at Young Park is anticipated to be completed by the end of September.
Also, a public Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to mark the opening of pickleball courts at Apodaca Park, 801 E. Madrid Ave., will be at 1 p.m. Friday, October 1. Also completed are repairs to outdoor basketball courts at Henry Benavidez Community Center, 1045 McClure Road; Metro Verde Park, 7125 Metro Verde Drive; Cardon Park, 1050 N. Mesquite St.; and Klein Park, 155 N. Mesquite St.
Contract negotiations for improvements at Unidad Park, 1500 E. Hadley Ave., are nearing completion, as are negotiations for construction of the East Mesa Public Recreation Complex. Construction is underway for two dog parks, with earthwork 70 percent complete at a new dog park on Rinconada Boulevard, adjacent to the Animal Services of the Mesilla Valley. Also, site clearing began September 6 for a new dog park at Burn Lake.
Construction of a new Animal Services Center, 3551 Bataan Memorial West, is about 15 percent complete, while replacement of the City’s Fire Station No. 3, at 390 N. Valley Drive, is approximately 63 percent finished. Construction and improvements to walking, jogging and biking trails are now 55 percent complete.
All projects will be finished by December 2022. Information on all GO Bond projects are available online at: https://www.las-cruces.org/1892/General-Obligation-Bond-Projects.
The quarterly GO Bond updates to City Council provide current information about the projects by highlighting background, status, and estimated time lines for both the design and construction phases of implementation.
In August 2018, Las Cruces voters approved $35.6 million in General Obligation Bonds for infrastructure improvements for parks, including sports fields and other related facilities; construction of a new animal shelter facility and related improvements; construction to replace Fire Station 3, and improvements for recreational walking, jogging, and biking trails.
Additionally at Monday’s Work Session, City Council was presented with preliminary plans for the 2022 General Obligation Bond cycle, which will help identify appropriate projects through community outreach and awareness.
City administration and staff members emphasized there will be numerous public opportunities for residents to provide input on projects that could be included in a new cycle of GO Bond projects. The next GO Bond election is scheduled in November 2022.
A public awareness kickoff for the next phase of GO Bond projects is expected to begin in October. Public input opportunities are planned from November through March, and City Council will conduct Work Sessions in April and May to begin prioritizing new GO Bond projects.
At Monday’s Work Session, City Council said it wants to incorporate goals from Elevate Las Cruces and the City’s Comprehensive and Strategic Plans.
The Council was also presented several options to consider in making a final determination of how much to seek in GO bonds. To continue GO Bond projects without increasing City property taxes, the Council could request $23 million in GO Bond funding in November 2022. City Council consensus was not to increase City property taxes.