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City sells affordable housing bond a year after vote


One year and four months after Las Cruces voters overwhelmingly approved a $6 million cash infusion to the city’s affordable housing efforts, the city announced on March 25 that it had begun putting that money into action. 

The $6 million affordable housing bond, sold on March 14, was one of four general obligation bonds, often referred to as GO bonds, Las Cruces residents approved in 2022.  

The city waited to sell the bond and receive the money because staff and council feared interest rates and taxes would cannibalize a significant portion of it. Ultimately, the city settled on selling the bond despite high taxes and interest rates. 

However, the money’s promise has allowed Las Cruces to begin working on some projects, such as the Three Sisters Complex and Pedrena Senior Complex

The housing bond was different from the other four. Instead of building a brick-and-mortar project, the $6 million housing bond was sent into the city’s affordable housing trust fund. While this unlocked other funding from federal and grant sources, it also made the bond taxable. 

Money for a new fire station, the East Mesa Recreational Complex, and park improvements were also approved. 

David Sedillo, director of Las Cruces Public Works, presented updates about the four bond projects during a March 25 work session of the Las Cruces City Council. 

Fire Station 9 

Voters approved the fire station bond, with 22,974 voters in favor (77 percent) and 7,900 against (26 percent). 

The vote sent $10 million to the construction of a new fire station in Las Cruces’ East Mesa-Sonoma Ranch area. The region is one of the fast-growing corners of Las Cruces, often a target for the development of new homes. 

As part of budget talks in 2024, the fire department requested that the council provide funding for 30 new firefighters to staff the station. The council signaled that they would agree to this. 

“We’re on schedule for the project,” Sedillo told the council. 

Sedillo said the design was complete. Next, he estimated the project would go out to bid in April 2024. Overall, he estimated the cost would be $13.2 million. 

Fire Station 9 is the second fire station Las Cruces has constructed via recent GO bonds. The 2018 GO bond allowed the city to rebuild Fire Station 3, which serves the region near Valley Drive and Picacho Avenue. 

Park improvements 

Voters approved the park improvements bond with 23,074 in favor (74 percent) and 8,077 against (26 percent). 

The vote sent $2 million to park renovation and improvement. The city chose to spend the bond money on La Llorona Park. 

For La Llorona, the city will upgrade amenities and trail improvements. Design for that was complete, Sedillo said. The city expects the work to go to bid by August 2024. 

“If there are any funds left over for this project, those will be assigned to Tellbrook park for any equipment replacements,” Sedillo said. 

East Mesa Public Recreational Complex 

Voters approved the East Mesa Recreational Complex bond, with 19,389 in favor (63 percent) and 11,396 against (37 percent). 

The vote sent $5 million to further construction of the complex. 

Sedillo said there’s a myriad of tasks underway at the complex. Construction of phase 1, which involved a lot of groundwork, is 80 percent complete. Construction of some of the lighting is done, and Sedillo expects that sod work will begin in mid-April. 

$6 million cash infusion, fordable housing bond, Three Sisters Complex, Pedrena Senior Complex