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City writes off over $200k in utility, library debts


The Las Cruces City Council voted unanimously to write off more than $200,000 of debt across the three departments during their meeting on June 17.

The unanimous vote did not eliminate the debts, mostly from unpaid utility bills. Instead, the vote means the debt will no longer be actively collected.

“We’re just doing this for cleaning purposes, for accounting best purposes,” said Las Cruces’ accounting supervisor, Adolofo Cardenas, during the meeting.

State law allows municipalities to write off debts uncollected for four years and don’t affect a department’s revenues.

Cardenas said Las Cruces Utilities would have $192,814 written off. General billing, including operations like fines for damaging a water line during construction, had $17,254 written off. Lastly, the council allowed the city to write off $38,616 in library debts.

The library debts stemmed from 545 patrons, most of whom owed less than $50, Cardenas said.

Councilor Yvonne Flores asked Cardenes how aggressively the city pursues these debts. Cardenas said he didn’t know but would inform the council later.

library debts, write off