LAS CRUCES – The Las Cruces City Council will convene for a work session Monday to discuss upcoming bond questions, the city’s Telshor Facility Fund and the allocation of cannabis excise tax revenue.
Architectural Research Consultants, hired by the city to solicit public feedback for this year’s general obligation bond election, will present the council an update on public input activities, potential projects and costs. ARC will also begin the discussion on narrowing down a list of priority projects to present to voters this election.
To maintain the current level of property taxes established through the 2018 GO bond election, Las Cruces city councilors must propose and approve a $23 million package of projects, which in turn must be approved by the voters this general election, Nov. 8. In 2018, voters approved four GO bond-financed projects which cost $35.6 million.
Following multiple public meetings, East Mesa Public Recreation Complex expansion and affordable housing stood out as top priorities among community members. Other potential projects included new city parks and park rehabilitation, library system expansion, trail development and multipurpose community facilities.
The council will also receive an overview of the Telshor Fund which will include information about its background, investment income, the value of the fund, annual allocations for health-related public services and other allocations. The fund is made up of the city’s share of lease payments made by Memorial Medical Center’s private operators.
The Telshor Fund must be used to support the city’s sick and indigent populations, often through disbursements to local community nonprofits.
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Finally, the council will discuss where to allocate local tax revenue generated from newly legal adult-use cannabis sales. City staff presented cannabis tax revenue information to the city’s Finance Select Committee on April 22 and to the Economic Development Policy Review Committee on May 18, the city said in a news release.
About one-third of the cannabis excise tax revenue generated is kept by the city. Las Cruces generated $3.3 million in medical and recreational cannabis sales combined in May. Medical cannabis is not taxed in New Mexico.
The city work session begins at 1 p.m. June 13 and will be held in council chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main Street. It will also be broadcast live on Comcast cable channel 20 and in high definition on channel 298. It will be livestreamed on YouTube at YouTube.com/clctv20 and will be available at clctv.com.
Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, [email protected] or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.