The Las Cruces City Council will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St. for a regularly scheduled meeting.
City Council will consider adoption of a Resolution authorizing the City to accept a $3,750,000 budget adjustment for proposed renovations to a new Casa de Peregrinos Food Rescue Warehouse that will be near the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope campus, 999 W. Amador Ave.
If approved by the Council, the budget amendment would be made to the City’s Adopted 2022 Fiscal Year budget, and as applicable, the 2022 Fiscal Year Capital Improvement Plan. The $3.75 million, to pay for the renovations, would come from the City’s Telshor Facility Fund. The Telshor Facility Fund is designated to support health and human services projects and programs for low-income City residents.
Casa de Peregrinos is the largest and most successful food pantry in southern New Mexico. It now operates a 4,000 square-foot facility that was built in 2003.
Casa de Peregrinos was designed to distribute 500,000 pounds of food per year, but currently exceeds that capacity. In 2020 it distributed more than 4.7 million pounds of food. The food pantry no longer fits its space, and there is no capacity for expansion at its current location.
Overcrowding at the food pantry has placed a strain on facilities, staff, volunteers, clients, and the rest of the Community of Hope campus. The pantry’s small size prevents Casa de Peregrinos from expanding services to southern New Mexico residents who are experiencing food insecurity.
As a result, on March 2, 2020, City Council approved a $1.3 million purchase of the former Horse N Hound building, at 991 W. Amador Ave., which is adjacent to the Community of Hope. Plans are to convert that building into a new warehouse and food distribution facility. Casa de Peregrinos asked the City for support to expand its facilities, and the City included the request on its list of Capital Improvement Project priorities that have been submitted to the New Mexico Legislature.
Total construction costs for the food pantry expansion are estimated to be $7,034,164, leaving a $3.3 million deficit. City staff has recommended a budget adjustment from the Telshor Facility Fund to the City’s Health Care Fund to cover all associated costs and contingencies.
So far, the City has received four grants through the State of New Mexico’s legislative capital outlay process during the last four legislative sessions to include: $85,500 in 2018, $664,000 in 2019, $1.4 million in 2020 and $1.8 million in 2021. Also, Casa de Peregrinos has been awarded $350,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding in 2021.
Additionally at Monday’s meeting, City Council will consider adoption of a Resolution to formally approve a CDBG agreement between the City and Casa de Peregrinos for the Horse N Hound reconstruction project. The City has received program funds from the U.S. government under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which created the CDBG program.
The CDBG program enables the City to administer a federally funded program in accordance with the goals of the City's 2016 to 2020 Consolidated Plan, which addresses low-income areas and residents' community development needs.
On May 3, 2021, City Council approved Resolution No. 21-162, thereby adopting the Program Year 2021 Action Plan. The 2021 Action Plan outlines how the City's CDBG funds will be spent during the City's 2022 fiscal year.
The 2021 Action Plan allocated $350,000 in CDBG funds to Casa de Peregrinos, Inc.. for the project. This project will provide gap funding for the reconstruction of the former Horse N Hound building. In order to comply with CDBG regulations, an agreement between the City and Casa de Peregrinos is required to be executed.
The agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting can be found online at: https://lascruces.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=221.
Monday’s Council meeting will be televised live on CLC-TV, Comcast Cable channel 20. The meeting is also accessible online at clctv.com and at YouTube.com/clctv20.