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Ballots for the 2018 GO Bond election are due today, August 21, 2018.

If you have not already submitted your ballot, please deliver it in person to the Doña County Clerk’s Office no later than 7:00 PM on August 21, 2018.

Be sure to sign your completed ballot before handing it in.

Doña Ana County Clerk
845 N. Motel Blvd.
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88007
(575) 647-7421
Above: CLC-TV explains how to submit your completed ballot.

Note: Ballots must be received, not postmarked, by the deadline tomorrow evening. To ensure that the City can count your vote, please drop off your signed ballot by 7:00 PM on August 21, 2018. At this point, submissions by postal mail will not arrive in time to count.

Scroll down to learn more about the projects in each GO Bond question, and see some of the input from other residents.

View Sample Ballot

About General Obligation Bonds

General Obligation (GO) Bonds are an important source of funding for basic capital improvements (bricks and mortar) that our growing community requires to thrive.

General Obligation Bonds are typically best suited for projects that benefit the general public but generate little or no revenue to pay debt service.

The City typically uses GO Bonds for initiatives including:
  • Parks and recreation facilities and improvements
  • Public facilities such as fire stations, police stations, libraries, senior centers
  • Infrastructure improvements such as roads, sidewalks, trails, and drainage facilities
  • Other projects with strong local support

Proposed Projects

The City Council approved the following priority projects to be on the GO Bond election mail-ballot to be held from July 24 through August 21.

These projects emerged from the public input process and are described below.

This downloadable table summarizes the project scope and pre-conceptual cost estimates for each of the projects to be considered for funding in the General Obligation Bond election.

PDF format, 40 Kb in size. Prepared July 19, 2018.

Ballot Questions

  1. Shall the City issue general obligation bonds, payable from property taxes, in an amount up to $16,900,000 to construct improvements to parks, including sports fields and other related facilities?
  2. Shall the City issue general obligation bonds, payable from property taxes, in an amount up to $9,800,000 to construct a new animal shelter facility and related improvements?
  3. Shall the City issue general obligation bonds, payable from property taxes, in an amount up to $6,200,000 to construct replacement fire station facilities for Fire Station 3 (at 390 N. Valley Drive), including acquisition of necessary land?
  4. Shall the City issue general obligation bonds, payable from property taxes, in an amount up to $2,700,000 to construct and improve recreational walking, jogging, and biking trails, including acquisition of necessary land?

The ballot also poses six questions regarding proposed amendments to the Las Cruces City Charter.

Proposed amendments to the Las Cruces City Charter:

  1. Shall Section 8.02 of the City Charter be changed to give petitioners sixty (60) days to collect sufficient signatures?
  2. Shall Sections 8.02, 8.03, 8.07, 8.08, and 8.09 of the City Charter be amended to change the recall provisions for elected officials and create a new Section 8.10, which would require a written notice of intention to recall to be filed with the City Clerk, along with 50 signatures from qualified electors, the petition to recall shall include facts that support grounds of misconduct or violation of the oath of office and a district court judge shall determine if misconduct which violates local or state laws governing elected officials has occurred or if the elected official had been disciplined or suspended from a professional licensing body before the petition is circulated?
  3. Shall Section 8.04 of the City Charter be changed to provide the City Clerk (to) have an additional five (5) working days for a total of twenty-five (25) working days to determine the sufficiency of a petition under Section 8.04 of the City Charter?
  4. Shall Section 8.04 of the City Charter be changed to eliminate the amended petition process?
  5. Shall Section 8.04 of the City Charter be changed to allow the Las Cruces City Council to review insufficient and sufficient petition on certificates for compliance with the City Charter?
  6. Shall Section 8.04 of the City Charter be changed to allow petition signatories seven (7) working days after the petition is submitted to the City Clerk to withdraw their signatures by notarized letter received through certified mail or delivery in-person to the City Clerk?

The Las Cruces City Charter was initially adopted by City Council on Jan. 7, 1985. It has been amended four times: Nov. 7, 1989; Nov. 2, 1993; Nov. 10, 2005, and in December 2006. The current version is available on the City's website. Copies of the City Charter are also available at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.

Further information about the projects proposed to be completed is available below:

Park
Park and Sports Fields Improvements and Additions
Park Improvements
  • Desert Trails, Young Park, Apodaca Park
  • Hadley Complex improvements; lights, irrigation, restrooms, concession stand, dugouts
  • Unidad Park Improvements and Splash Pad
Sports Courts Improvements
  • Basketball Courts - Metro Verde, Four Hills, Hillrise, Cardon, Frank O’Brien Papen, Klein, Benavidez Community Center
  • Tennis Courts - Young, Apodaca, Lions and Metro Parks
Additions
  • Dog Parks - 2 acres of new dog park(s)
  • East Mesa Public Recreation Complex
    • 10 acre park, baseball complex, soccer and football fields
    • Eight (8) Pickleball courts
Animal Shelter
New Animal Shelter Facility

This project creates a new stray animal and adoption center along with administration offices on the site of the existing facility.

Above: Existing Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley facility at 3551 Bataan Memorial West.
Fire Station
Fire Station 3 Replacement

This project replaces the existing Fire Station 3, a building constructed in 1967. The replacement would add response capacity of the station for increasing call demand.

Community park
Walking, Jogging, Biking, and Recreational Trails

This project focuses on upgrades to Citywide multi-use paths and trails, and implements aspects of the Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) plan:

  • Complete a City Loop using City of Las Cruces right of ways
  • Utilize Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) laterals
  • Provide wayfinding

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a GO Bond?

A GO Bond is a form of debt financing secured by property tax revenue - General obligation bonds can be issued for general purpose projects. The law requires like or similar projects to be presented in a separate question for voter approval.

How much bonding capacity does the City of Las Cruces have?

State statute limits the amount of general obligation bonds issued by municipalities to 4% of total assessed valuation. The City of Las Cruces' current GO Bonding capacity is about $92 million.

Does Las Cruces have any GO Debt?

No, Las Cruces currently has no GO Bond debt.

How is the GO Bond debt retired?

A GO Bond is typically paid back in 10 to 15 years with an interest rate based on the City's credit worthiness. A municipality can borrow at a better than private market rate.

Will there be future GO Bond Elections?

Many communities issue and repay GO Bonds on a regular cycle - e.g. every 2 to 6 years. The City will evaluate the success of the upcoming election to determine the strategy for future elections.

What is the tax impact on a typical home owner?

The following table shows the yearly impact to a typical homeowner should voters approve a $35.6 million GO Bond that funds all of the proposed projects.

Bond Size: Yearly Cost to a Typical Homeowner
Full Value Assessed Value* 2.1 mills
$100,000 $33,333 $70.00
$125,000 $41,667 $87.00
$150,000 $50,000 $105.00
$175,000 $58,333 $122.00
$200,000 $66,667 $140.00
$225,000 $75,000 $157.00
$250,000 $83,333 $175.00

*Tax at 1/3 market valuation Median Home Value

What is the schedule for the GO Bond process?

The GO Bond Schedule:

Does the City have other sources of capital funding?

Yes. Las Cruces has a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that is now primarily funded by revenue bonds. These are bonds issued against a regular source of revenue such as the City's share of the New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax (GRT). You can find information about the City's CIP program here, at the Office of Management and Budget site.

If approved, when would the tax increases go into effect?

Depending on which GO Bond requests are approved, the City will prepare for one or several bond sales spaced out to minimize interest cost and match project needs. Tax rates would be adjusted after the sale of the bond(s), and property owners would see that increase on their next property tax bill (issued annually).

What else is on the ballot?

The ballot also contains several proposed charter amendment changes:

Why does the charter require changes to the recall provision?

Why are Recall, Referendum, and Initiative made into separate sections?

Where can I submit a question?

Send in your thoughts to gobond@las-cruces.org.

The Election

Voting is underway now through 7:00 PM on August 21 in the City's $35.6 million General Obligation bond election to fund life-enhancing improvements to our community. Voting is by mail ballot. Each registered voter in Las Cruces should have received a ballot in the mail with a postage-paid envelope for returning the completed ballot. Ballots may also be hand-delivered to the Doña Ana County Clerk's office, 845 N. Motel Blvd. All ballots, mailed-in or hand-delivered, must be received at the county clerk's office by 7:00 PM on August 21.

This recent CLC-TV video explains the voting process:

Above: City of Las Cruces Director of Communications Udell Vigil and Doña Ana County Clerk Scott Krahling explain the voting process.

The City of Las Cruces held a press conference on July 23, 2018 to provide residents more information about the $35.6 million special election:

Above: City of Las Cruces press conference on July 23, 2018 with Mayor Ken Miyagishima, Doña Ana County Clerk Scott Krahling, Las Cruces Fire Chief Eric Enriquez, Parks & Recreation Director Sonya Delgado, Paul Richardson with the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, businesswoman Marci Dickerson, and parent Sumer Rose Nolen.
Above: CLC-TV GO Bond Election video overview on Vimeo platform.
Above: Jason Smith, CLC Deputy Fire Chief, on CLC-TV with Denise LaFrance. “Ask The GO Bond” Discussion available on Vimeo platform. Vimeo platform.

The next General Obligation Bond election will run from July 24 through August 21. It will be a mail-ballot process.

The City of Las Cruces provides resources like this website to help you determine the issues and priorities that will be put to the community for a vote.

CLC-TV on Granicus

View Council Work Session Activity

Council Work Session information is available on CLC-TV's Granicus platform. Includes video archives, downloadable packets for agenda topics, meeting minutes, and other supporting files.

 

View a PDF presentation to the City Council about the projects within the GO Bond.

PDF format, 1 MB in size. Presented June 4, 2018.

Participation

The City welcomes your thoughts about the GO Bond and the implementation of its proposed projects.

You can provide input by attending a public meeting and emailing your suggestions to gobond@las-cruces.org.

Previous Meetings

February 15, 2018
Lynn Middle School
February 22, 2018
Branigan Cultural Center
February 27, 2018
Doña Ana Community College
March 27, 2018
Sage Café
April 3, 2018
Thomas Branigan Memorial Library
April 14, 2018
Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center
May 14, 2018
Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center - City Council Work Session

Summary of Results to Date

The City received many comments during public meetings and email correspondence. These paraphrased comments received to date are available for download in Microsoft Excel (xlsx) format and plain text (csv).