The Las Cruces City Council will continue development of a new Public Safety Impact Fee after receiving a progress update at its work session on Monday, May 23, 2022. In Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
In April 2021, City Council extended the current Public Safety Impact Fee through June 30, 2022. The extension has allowed the City time to hire a consultant, with Willdan Financial Services, whose update to City Council during Monday’s work session focused on land use assumptions and the Draft Capital Improvement Plan.
The Public Safety Impact Fee will be a one-time charge that is typically imposed at the time a building permit is applied for. The Public Safety Impact Fee will be imposed on new development citywide and will fund capital needs for public safety facilities needed to serve new development. A new Public Safety Impact Fee will be paid for by new residential and business development rather than passing the costs of the impact fees onto the existing community.
Monday’s update provided an opportunity to City Council to review proposed updates to the land use assumptions, capital needs, and draft analysis of possible impact fee schedules. Several public meetings have been conducted including a public hearing on Saturday. Another public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 in Council Chambers at City Hall.
The Council was told Monday that much of the stakeholder outreach has been conducted. City Council also learned that land use assumptions are based on estimates of Las Cruces’ population in the 2020 U.S. Census; that an annual population increase of 1.2 percent is assumed; and that an annual employment increase of 0.7 percent from the Elevate Las Cruces Comprehensive Plan is also assumed.
Additionally at Monday’s work session, Program Director Karina Diaz, and Clinical Director Jess Spohn presented City Council the mission, purpose, and culture of RI International at the Doña Ana Crisis Triage Center. The presentation included data from the first 10 months of the Crisis Triage Center’s operations, community partnerships and outreach.
Triage staff and Jamie Michael, Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Director, also told the Council of challenges and ongoing efforts to establish the Crisis Triage Center as a reputable and safe option for individuals in mental health crisis. Diaz and Spohn also spoke about plans to establish a 988 nationwide telephone number on July 16. The telephone number will help people experiencing a mental health or suicidal crisis.
There was consensus from City Council to strongly support efforts to educate the public and provide marketing assistance to promote the start of the new 988 telephone number.
Also at Monday’s work session, Stephen Lopez, Emergency Manager of the Joint Doña Ana County/City of Las Cruces Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provided an annual update to City Council on activities, major incidents, and emergency management changes during the past 12 months. Lopez informed the Council the 2001 Joint Powers Agreement with OEM needs to be revised within the next six months due to changes that have occurred at the OEM.
In particular, the City of Sunland Park is set to join the OEM, with the City and County, and will be sharing the cost of an additional emergency coordinator at OEM. Updates to the agreement are needed to address changes in authority, reporting, direction, hiring, and new procedures for issuing news releases and information to residents and the media.