Thanks to Sarah for dissecting the agenda into “bite sized pieces” for evaluation and action. We need this type of support/help for the School Board and County Commission agenda.
Hi everyone,I took a quick look at the City Council agenda for Monday’s meeting. Here are a few items of note (with my own thoughts in red):
RESOLUTION APPROVING A HOME INVESTMENTS PARTNERSHIP (HOME) AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF LAS CRUCES AND TIERRA DEL SOL HOUSING CORPORATION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE METRO VERDE PUD.
- Resolution No. 23-108 – Pdf (40 pages)
- This item is contracting with Tierra del Sol to disburse Federal grant funds from HUD for building 10 Affordable Housing units in Metro Verde. Total amount being disbursed is $295,000 in HOME funds.
- There are many details included in the 40 page document including home owner eligibility requirements, etc. Homeowners are required to live in the homes and must meet low-to-moderate income guidelines in order to qualify.
- I’m not seeing anything here that is causing me concern. Mr Shervanick brought up some concerns related to the source of funding and GO Bonds, but I am fairly ignorant on that front…
- Resolution No. 23-109 – Pdf (124 pages!)
- This item is aimed at giving certain “blighted” areas (El Paseo, Solano, Picacho) status as “Metropolitan Redevelopment Areas” (MRAs) in order to potentially improve “commercial and residential buildings, streets, sidewalks, and utilities throughout the area to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of residents, businesses, and visitors”.
- The Resolution lists the reasons for the issues as being related to “infrastructure condition, public services, crime, housing condition…”
- Designating these areas as MRAs would allow the City to “provide public resources to private entities… without violating the state’s anti-donation clause.”
- The downtown/Main Street area is given as an example of successful use of MRA designation.
I think we’d all agree these areas could use some re-development, but I have concerns about the City potentially helping to fix up these areas without addressing the root causes of the current issues. For instance, if the current property crime, vandalism, drug usage, homeless situation is not improved, these areas are likely to just decay all over again. We are seeing exactly that happening in the downtoan Mall, where things look updated and nice except that the businesses are now suffering frequent broken windows, threats of attack (such as at the yoga studio), public urination, etc.
AN ORDINANCE SUPPORTING INVESTMENT OF $897,596 IN AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CITY OF LAS CRUCES LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN, AUTHORIZING A PROJECT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND 828 PRODUCTIONS, LLC., AND ENTERING INTO AN AGREEMENT TO SERVE AS FISCAL AGENT FOR THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO’S PARTICIPATION NOT TO EXCEED $3,000,000 IN THE PROJECT.
- Ordinance No. 3028 – Pdf (100 pages!)
- This Ordinance would allow the City to invest nearly $897,596 of Capital Outlay Funds and also administer $3,000,000 in state funds towards building of a film studio in Las Cruces for 828 Productions as an economic development project.
- I recognize that economic development is important, but I personally feel that the City needs to focus more on managing the current infrastructure and less on incentivizing cannabis and film companies. I guess I am a bit annoyed at seeing this amount of money being thrown at a film studio while I am being told the City doesn’t have money to fix things like the street shown below in my neighborhood (which ends up with huge potholes for weeks every time it rains significantly). And they have also refused to take action on building a sidewalk on Elks where I have seen children having to dodge heavy traffic walking to school at Vista Middle School (because the side of the road washes out every time it rains, so that the kids have to walk in the traffic lane to traverse that part of the street). There are also tremendous flooding issues (from water diverted down here from development in East Mesa) affecting my neighbors when it rains heavily, which the City promised to fix years ago but I have yet to see anything done. And of course the crime and substance abuse issues which are causing the “blight” in the first place.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAS CRUCES MUNICIPAL CODE 1997, AS AMENDED (LCMC), SECTIONS 2-496 THROUGH 2-499 TO REVISE THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND BANK AND TRUST FUND ADVISORY COMMITTEE, RESPECTIVELY, WITHIN CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IV, DIVISION 3, NONSTANDARD BOARDS DIVISION OF THE LCMC.
- Ordinance No. 3029 – Pdf
- They are changing the requirements of who must be on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.
- Per previous requirements, there were to be 9 members, and it was specifically called out that there had to be members from the building industry, realty industry, title industry, Hispano Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Now they are changing the board to be only 5 members and that it is “desirable” that they have experience in “community and social services, banking, finance, building, or real estate…”
- Both the previous Ordinance and the proposed Ordinance involve the Mayor as the person appointing the members of the Committee.
- I am concerned about the addition of members to be experienced in “community and social services” as if the Board becomes too heavy in that direction we are just going to see more of the same problems we’re already having.