The Las Cruces City Council adopted a Resolution approving funding priorities and allocations for 10 Las Cruces nonprofit organizations for the coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Council’s approval came at its Tuesday, Sept. 6 regularly scheduled meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
The following projects were approved for funding by City Council, who has the final approval authority on the use of funds:
- Mesilla Valley Community of Hope; Housing Risk Mitigation Funds, $300,000.
- Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico/Bitwise; Equip Las Cruces, $1,000,000.
- Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico; Guaranteed Basic Income Project, $1,700,000.
- Jardin de los Niños; Flourishing Families Infant Mental Health Program, $350,000.
- Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico; COVID-19 Recovery Fund, $550,000.
- New Mexico Housing & Community Development Corp.; Peachtree Affordable Housing Project, $2,000,000.
- Boys & Girls Club of Las Cruces; BGCLC New Facility, $1,388,000.
- Cruces Creatives; Economic and Educational Recovery, $1,000,000.
- Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority; Oak Street Veterans Affordable Housing Project, $305,853.
- LiftFund Revitalize Las Cruces Small Businesses, $1,000,000.
Altogether, the City received 21 proposals requesting approximately $26.3 million dollars in funding for various projects. The ARPA funds for the 10 Las Cruces nonprofits amounts to $9,593,853.
The City, as a recipient of ARPA Coronavirus (COVID-19) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the U.S. Department of Treasury, implemented a Request for Proposals process from the distribution of funds for Community and Economic Development Initiatives. These resources are made available to the City to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and/or its negative economic impacts.
With City Council approval of the ARPA funds, the City will now proceed with contract negotiations. Additional resolutions will be required to approve individual performance-based contracts.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council adopted a Resolution reversing a denial decision of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission regarding a variance request of approximately 300 feet to the minimum 300-foot buffer required between a cannabis facility and a school. In this case, the Council granted a variance to the 300-foot distance requirement from the building footprint of a proposed cannabis facility, Pharmtrue/Mesilla Valley Pharmacy, 227 S. Main St., to the property line of New America School, 207 S. Main St.
The variance will allow Pharmtrue/Mesilla Valley Pharmaceutical, to process, or compound, CBD (Cannabidiol) based products for its customers. The pharmacy and the CBD processing/compounding and sales are an allowed use at the pharmacy.
The pharmacy wants to expand its current operations to include Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, as part of its product, or medicinal, offering.
New America School, a free public school funded by the New Mexico Public Education Department and has been open at its current location since 2012. The school and the pharmacy share a property line. School officials told City Council they were opposed to the THC products available at the pharmacy because they could pose potential harm to the school’s mission and operations.