The Las Cruces City Council reviewed and discussed concept maps at its Monday, Sept. 12 work session and has recommended two that could determine how City Council boundaries will be redistricted.
The Council has recommended concept maps “J” and “K” should be brought forward for further discussion and consideration at a future Council meeting. The concept maps can be found online by clicking here.
The Las Cruces City Charter requires a “periodic review of the boundaries of the districts” every 10 years. Each Council district “shall contain as nearly as possible substantially the same population-based upon the most recent federal census.”
Earlier this year, City Council passed Resolution 22-031 creating an ad hoc committee to work with Research & Polling, Inc., of Albuquerque, to provide public input and evaluate various redistricting proposals. Since April, the committee met about every two weeks. It reviewed 10 different concept maps and narrowed those down to four that the council reviewed at Monday’s work session.
Also at Monday’s work session, Tim Chappell, president of the Las Cruces Sister Cities Foundation, provided an update of that organization to City Council. The presentation included overviews of Sister Cities International, Las Cruces Sister Cities and its two current affiliates, Nienburg, Germany, established in 1993, and Lerdo, Mexico, which started in 1982.
The presentation also included informal City Council discussion of a proposed affiliation with Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, which is about 250 miles south of Las Cruces. The affiliation between Cuauhtemoc and Las Cruces was initially proposed in April. There was Council consensus at Monday’s work session to pursue a formal affiliation. The Council believes a Sister Cities affiliation with Cuauhtemoc could be good for economic development.
The City’s Economic Development Department presented a mid-year update of the economic outlook of the City at Monday’s work session. The presentation focused on labor force trends, industry trends, and general business trends of Las Cruces’ economy.
City Economist Monica Torres, Ph.D., told the Council the city’s current unemployment rate is 4.7 percent. The city continues to experience a robust job market and the unemployment rate remains among the lowest rates in recent years.
New business registrations in Las Cruces in August totaled 77, or 10 more than those in August 2021. Cannabis sales in Las Cruces in August increased $7,894, to $3.3 million. Most industry sectors have experienced growth in the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, especially in the Leisure and Hospitality sector.
Additionally, at Monday’s work session, City Council reviewed how American Rescue Plan Act expenditures are reported, including periodic reports to the U.S. Treasury Department and real-time reporting on the City’s website. A webpage on the City’s website has been developed to report ARPA funding and is accessible at: https://stories.opengov.com/lascrucesnm/published/QPi6sqTmY.
In response to the economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, the City was allocated $24,759,826 in ARPA funds to aid in recovery efforts. City Council adopted a resolution for the funding to be allocated in the following manner: $2 million to support public health emergency response, $6.9 million to replace public sector revenue loss for capital needs, $11.4 million to address negative economic impacts, $3.5 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure, and $1 million for premium pay.