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CITY COUNCIL MONEY FOR HEMP FIRM

City council allocates money for hemp firm

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The Las City Council unanimously approved the investment of $150,000 in city funds to support a Las Cruces-based business that will process hemp into refined oil for CBD-infused products.

The company, 420 Valley LLC, will be located at what had been a vacant building at 420 Valley Drive and guarantees 55 full-time employees by the end of 2023, with an average salary of $42,000 a year and a total investment of $5.8 million. Business co-owners are Rick Morales and Scott Bannister.

At the meeting, the council also approved:

  • a power purchase agreement with Ameresco, Inc. of Phoenix for the purchase of electricity generated by solar power facilities. City sustainability officer Lisa LaRocque said the agreement will help the city meet its goal of purchasing 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The city also will save $5.8 million over the 25-year life of the agreement, LaRocque said.
  • a memorial to honor former city councilor Olga Pedroza, who served on the council 2009-17 and died in early 2018. The memorial will be a 36-inch by 36-inch bronze plaque featuring Pedroza’s photo and a list of her accomplishments on the council. It will be located on a free-standing wall at Lions Park, 701 W. Picacho Ave. Pedroza’s son, Juaquin, thanked the council for the memorial.
  • a suffrage centennial marker to be erected in Pioneer Women’s Park, 500 W. Las Cruces Ave., in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that granted women the right to vote. The 18-inch-by-32-inch cast-aluminum marker will be worded: “LAURA FRENGER LED Woman’s Improvement Park sent telegram Dec. 1, 1917 to President W. Wilson pass suffrage amendment.” Frenger (1873-1961), worked for New Mexico statehood and for women’s suffrage over a 40-year period.

The council recognized the retirement of Assistant city Attorney Marcie Driggers, who retires at the end of the year with 32 years’ service. City Attorney Jennifer Vega-Brown called Driggers “an exemplary attorney [who] has been a very good mentor to many of us.”

City Councilors Greg Smith and Jack Eakman were also recognized for their service to the city, as both leave the council at the end of the year. Smith has eight years of service and Eakman four years.

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