Bond Projects Underway in Las Cruces

From a Las Cruces Bulletin story by Justin Garcia

Bonds issued by the city of Las Cruces and approved by voters to support park improvements, a new fire station and affordable housing efforts are well underway, according to a recent report to the Las Cruces City Council. 

The city issued $23 million over four bond questions in 2022, following the overwhelming support of Las Cruces voters. 

On June 23, Public Works Director David Sedillo updated the Las Cruces City Council about the progress of the four projects. 

Fire Station 9

The voters of Las Cruces approved a $10 million bond for the city to build a new fire station in the Sonoma Ranch area. Fire station 9 would service the Sonoma Ranch neighborhoods and the Highway 70 corridor. 

According to the city, the new station would reduce wait times for those areas and reduce wear and tear on the fire department’s apparatuses. 

Sedillo said the plans for the new station have been completed, and the project has been sent out to bid. Sedillo estimated that construction would start mid-September.

East Mesa Public Recreational Complex

The East Mesa Public Recreational Complex was broken into two bonds, one in 2018 and one in 2022. Voters approved both. The second bond was worth $5 million. 

The city said the complex is needed to support its growth over the last decade. It’ll be the third “community-sized” park alongside Young Park and Apodaca Park and a “sister park” to the Hadley Sports Complex.

Sedillo said phase one of the project is mostly complete. The contractor is still waiting on playground equipment and shade structure materials. For the second phase, Sedillo said the design plans will be 90 percent complete by the end of July. 

That phase includes the construction of sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, concession buildings, restrooms and more.

Park improvements 

With the $2 million approved by voters, the city selected improvements to La Lorona Park. The improvements include replacements and upgrades to trails and amenities. 

Sedillo said the plans for La Lorona are complete. However, before the project goes out to bid, it still needs some permitting approval from an international body that oversees the Rio Grande. 

If any funds are left over, the city will upgrade Tellbrook Park on the southwestern end of Las Cruces. 

Affordable Housing

The last update is different from those above. Unlike the other three brick-and-mortar projects, the voters of Las Cruces also approved $6 million to support the city’s affordable housing efforts. 

The city estimates there is a gap of about 6,000 units, causing people to fall into homelessness or become housing insecure. These efforts have also drawn criticism and condemnation from local conservative activist groups who say affordable housing will lead to increased crime. 

This bond took a little longer to start than the others. It’s taxable, meaning high interest rates would reduce the total dollar amount available to the city. 

So, the city held off on issuing the bond for over a year, hoping that rates would go down. The money then went into the city’s affordable housing trust fund, which allows them to leverage federal money to support projects. 

Natalie Green, the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, touted some of those projects during Monday’s meeting, including the Three Sisters, Pedrena, and Peach Tree Canyon. 

Green also said the money has helped complete three single-family homes that can be occupied by low-income families. 

Leave a Reply