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The original item was published from 8/18/2022 8:50:49 AM to 8/22/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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City Manager Report

Posted on: August 16, 2022

[ARCHIVED] City Council Recap for Aug. 15, 2022 Meeting

City Council Without Masks

The Las Cruces City Council adopted a Resolution accepting the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) Campus Master Plan at its Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 meeting, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.

On May 3, 2021, the City contracted with Huitt-Zollars, Inc., of Las Cruces, to develop a master plan for MVCH, a City-owned property at 999 W. Amador Ave. The property is leased to and managed by MVCH, a non-profit organization.

Through this arrangement, services are provided for homeless, near homeless and indigent residents. Sub-contracted agencies currently at the MVCH campus include MVCH administration, intake, and social services – including Camp Hope; Amador Health Center, which provides medical services; El Caldito Soup Kitchen, which provides lunch and other meals to the homeless and near homeless; Jardin de Los Niños, which provides child daycare services; and Casa de Peregrinos, a food bank and food distribution center.

All organizations on the MVCH campus have identified a need for expansion and improvements. The master plan defines an ultimate buildout of the site and takes into consideration the City's goals of how services are supported there, while being reflective of the future plans each non-profit has as individual stakeholders.

It has been identified an estimated $26.1 million in capital improvements are needed at the MVCH campus during the next five years and beyond. The upgrades and investments will help MVCH meet its outreach objectives and will help guide future campus planning.
 Management plan recommendations include:

  • Dedicate a full-time maintenance staff to support the campus.
  • Develop a standardized process for written quarterly logs with more details and a matrix.
  • Establish a standardized process for maintenance and repairs needed at MVCH.
  • Amend subleases for tenants that specify the location of a subtenant within the project areas of the building it occupies and the square footage it uses.
  • Draft amendments for subtenants who have altered or plan to expand their facilities.

Also at Monday’s meeting City Council indefinitely tabled consideration of a Resolution intended to support proposed New Mexico legislation that would protect tenants from income discrimination by landlords. Indefinitely tabling the proposed Resolution will enable City Council to conduct a work session this fall to have further discussions about income discrimination. Tabling the Resolution also will allow the Council to hear additional public comments.

Some Council members said state legislation and municipal ordinances are needed to prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants, based upon a tenants’ economic status. City Council could also consider drafting a proposed Ordinance that would address income discrimination by landlords in Las Cruces.

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice – directly or indirectly based on an individual’s source of income – to limit or deny the full and equal enjoyment of housing, including the rental of a dwelling, services, facilities, and privileges. The proposed state legislation would prohibit discrimination against tenants who are recipients of social security income, are disabled, military veterans, or recipients of Section 8 housing vouchers.

The proposed legislation would require the development of programs to recruit landlords and assist low-income tenants in finding units in high opportunity areas.

Additionally at Monday’s meeting, City Council adopted an Ordinance that authorizes the issuance and sale of as much as $5 million in City of Las Cruces subordinate lien state-shared gross receipts tax improvement revenue bonds. Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to finance the purchase of two fire engines and two aerial fire trucks for the Las Cruces Fire Department.

The new fire engines and aerial fire trucks will replace two fire engines and two aerial fire trucks that have been in service for more than 15 years and have exceeded industry standards for time of service and maintenance costs. A Resolution approved at the July 18, 2022 City Council meeting authorized City staff to apply for financial assistance from the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA) for the acquisition of the fire engines.

The City Charter authorizes City Council to borrow funds. The NMFA has instituted a program for financing public projects and equipment.

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