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A City of Las Cruces GO Bond Election will begin soon! Take a look at this CLC-TV video overview to learn what's at stake.

The City of Las Cruces held a series of public input meetings and opportunities to prepare projects for a General Obligation Bond election to be held in August. After hundreds participated in providing feedback through meetings or emails several projects were initially presented for a public survey and project scoping. Four bond questions have been proposed and can be viewed below. All of the projects have aspects addressing concerns from our citizens and each helps to meet the needs of our city.

The Las Cruces City Council adopted a resolution on June 4, 2018 that calls for a $35.6 million general obligation bond election, and proposed amendments to the Las Cruces City Charter regarding recall provisions. The special municipal election will run from Tuesday, July 24 through Tuesday, August 21, and will be conducted by mail-ballot. A change in state statutes, approved earlier this year by the New Mexico Legislature, requires the election to be conducted by mail. The election will be open to all registered voters living within the Las Cruces city limits. City residents who want to vote in the special election will have until 5:00 PM, July 24, 2018 to register in person at the Doña County Clerk’s Office, at the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Boulevard, or until 11:59 PM July 24, 2018 at the Doña County Clerk's Website.

Accessible voting is available. Contact the County Clerk's Office at 575-647-7428.

Scroll down to learn more about the projects in each GO Bond question and see the public input that was obtained.

View Survey Results

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. See how these projects will be presented on the mail-in ballot.

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?

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:

February 15 to May 1, 2018 - Public Meetings and project vetting

May 4 - Final Ballot Information determined

June 4 - City Council consideration and approval of ballot questions

July 24 through August 21 - Mail-ballot election for GO Bond

Special election ballots, mailed or hand-delivered, must be received at the County Clerk's Office by 7:00 PM on August 21.

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).

Where can I submit a question?

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

The Election

Above: Jason Smith, CLC Deputy Fire Chief, on CLC-TV with Denise LaFrance. “Ask The GO Bond” Discussion available on Vimeo video platform. Vimeo video 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).