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During a special meeting held entirely by teleconference Monday afternoon, March 30, the Las Cruces City Council discussed options for providing financial support to city residents most in need because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The council will hold another special meeting via videoconferencing at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 3, to vote on a resolution that authorizes the city “to accept a budget adjustment for emergency assistance for the impact from COVID-19 to various programs from the Telshor Fund for $1 million.”
The Telshor Fund (TF) was created by the council in October 2004 with proceeds from the pre-paid lease of Memorial Medical Center to Providence Healthcare Company and contains about $40 million.
Through that initial and possible future TF allocations, the council plans to provide funding to Las Cruces nonprofits and other governmental entities to help city residents who have lost their jobs or income as a direct result of COVID-19 and need assistance with rent and mortgage payments, utility payments, food and other basic needs.
According to the council discussion at the March 30 meeting, TF funds may also be allocated to partner with nonprofits and other governmental agencies, including Las Cruces Public Schools and the New Mexico Department of Health, to provide Internet access and computers for families with children who don’t have them, drivers to deliver meals and groceries to hard-to-reach residents in need and possibly to assist in transporting Las Cruces COVID-19 test kits to Albuquerque for quicker test results.
Some TF funds may go to the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico’s (CFSNM) new Together Las Cruces fund.
Here are email addresses for the mayor and council members for residents who have questions or comments: Mayor Ken Miyagishima: firstname.lastname@example.org. District 1 Councilor (and Mayor Pro-Tem) Kasandra Gandara: email@example.com; District 2 Councilor Tessa Abeyta-Stuve: firstname.lastname@example.org; District 3 Councilor Gabriel Vasquez: email@example.com; District 4 Councilor Johana Bencomo: firstname.lastname@example.org; District 5 Councilor Gill Sorg: email@example.com; and District 6 Councilor Yvonne Flores: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Visit www.las-cruces.org/1487/City-Council and click on Council Districts Map under Quick Links to view city council districts.