The Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution authorizing the City to accept a budget adjustment allocating $12,379,913, the second tranche of American Recovery Plan Act funding.
City Council’s approval came at its Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 regularly scheduled meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St. The proposed budget adjustment will be made through an amendment to the City’s Adopted Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Budget and the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Capital Improvement Plan.
In response to the economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act provided direct allocation to aid in recovery efforts. The City was allocated $24,759,826.
The first tranche of funding, $12,379,913, was received by the City on May 19, 2021, from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The second tranche was received June 13, 2022.
As defined in the Act, the funding is intended to be used to support urgent COVID-19 response efforts; to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control; to replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs; and to support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses and address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the in-equal impact of the pandemic.
Several City Council work sessions were conducted, and City staff presented recommendations from City management to allocate the entire $24,759,826. The recommendations included: $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.
This budget adjustment will allocate the second tranche of funding into ARPA defined priority areas. Those areas are: $1.2 million for public health and safety, $8.1 for negative economic impacts, and $3.1 million for water and sewer projects.
Additionally, City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution accepting three grant awards from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, 2022 Legislative Capital Outlay. The appropriations are administered by NMDOT on behalf of the state.
The grant awards include:
- $500,000 for Las Cruces International Airport that will be used to acquire land and rights of way, and to plan, design, construct, renovate, purchase, furnish, equip, and install infrastructure improvements at the airport.
- $100,000 for roadway and drainage improvements on the East Mesa. The funding will be used to acquire rights of way and to plan, design, construct, and improve roads, including utilities and flood control.
- $650,000 for traffic signal and intersection improvements at the intersection of north Telshor Boulevard and Spruce Avenue. The funding will be used to plan, design, construct, equip, and install improvements at the intersection.
No matching City funds are required for the legislative appropriations.
The fully executed grant agreements will be brought to the Council at future dates, in separate actions, to accept the grant awards into the City's fiscal year budget and amend the fiscal year's Capital Improvement Plan.
Also at Monday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Ken Miyagishima issued a Proclamation declaring Thursday, Sept. 22 as “Abraham Romero Day” in Las Cruces. Romero, an Organ Mountain High School football player passed away Sept. 17 after being injured in an Aug. 26 game at Deming. Romero’s family was presented with a plaque at Monday’s meeting.