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The original item was published from 10/5/2021 2:19:29 PM to 10/16/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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City Manager Report

Posted on: October 5, 2021

[ARCHIVED] City Council Recap for Oct. 4, 2021

City Council

The Las Cruces City Council adopted a Resolution at its Oct. 4, 2021 regularly scheduled meeting that authorizes the City to accept a $3,750,000 budget adjustment to pay for renovations to a new Casa de Peregrinos Food Rescue Warehouse at 991 W. Amador Ave., in the former Horse N. Hound building.

The budget amendment will 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 will 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, the largest and most successful food pantry in southern New Mexico, currently operates a 4,000 square-foot facility that was built in 2003 on the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) campus, 999 W. Amador Ave.

When it opened at the MVCH campus, Casa de Peregrinos was designed to distribute 500,000 pounds of food per year. But it now exponentially exceeds that  capacity.

In 2020, Casa de Peregrinos distributed more than 4.72 million pounds of food, more than 3.9 million meals, and the nonprofit food pantry addresses food insecurity for approximately 36,000 Las Cruces and southern New Mexico households every year. Because of its small size, Casa de Peregrinos is prevented from expanding services to more southern New Mexico residents.

As a result, City Council approved a $1.3 million purchase of the former Horse N Hound building on March 2, 2020. Casa de Peregrinos asked the City to support expansion of its facilities, and the City included the request on its list of Capital Improvement Project priorities that were 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 recommended a budget adjustment from the Telshor Facility Fund to the City’s Health Care Fund to cover all associated costs and contingencies.

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.

City Council also adopted a Resolution at Monday’s meeting that formally approved a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) agreement between the City and Casa de Peregrinos for the Horse N Hound reconstruction project. The City received these federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to administer in accordance with the goals of the City's 2021 to 2025 Consolidated Plan, as well as City Council’s Strategic Plan, both which address low-income areas and residents' community development needs.

Casa de Peregrinos was awarded $350,000 in CDBG funding as part of the City’s Program Year 2021 Action Plan that was approved through Resolution No. 21-162 on May 03, 2021.

With City Council’s adoption Monday of the two Resolutions, construction of the new Casa de Peregrinos food pantry is anticipated to begin during the 2022 fiscal year.

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