City of Las Cruces General Obligation Bond

Introduction

The City of Las Cruces will hold a General Obligation (GO) Bond election on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. This initiative is an opportunity for voters to provide input about what projects they would like this GO Bond to fund, helping to shape the future of our community.

In preparation of the upcoming election, the City of Las Cruces and its planning team gathered public input, developed cost estimates, prioritized potential projects, determined packaging options, and prepared draft and final reports of the process. The team completed its final report in July 2022 (available below).

Further details about the City's efforts and the Bond election are available below.

About

City Hall Building

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 best suited for projects that benefit the general public but generate little or no revenue to pay debt.

Some of the typical uses of GO Bonds include:

  • New public buildings, facilities, and parks
  • Infrastructure improvements and renovations
  • Roads, sidewalks, trails, and drainage facilities
  • Equipment for transit, fire, police, and technology
  • Athletic and cultural facilities
  • Other projects with strong local support

2022 GO Bond Schedule

Anticipated 2022 GO Bond Timeline
Date Range Event / Milestone
January 1 - April 30, 2022 Public awareness and input
May 1 - July 31, 2022 The City Council will consider what projects to be placed on the ballot, and approve the ballot language
August 23, 2022 Questions for the ballot to DAC Clerk
November 8, 2022 General Election

The City of Las Cruces retained Architectural Research Consultants, Incorporated (ARC) and ASA Architects to conduct General Obligation (GO) Bond facilitation services. These services included the following objectives:

  • Facilitate public input on potential projects to consider for the upcoming 2022 City of Las Cruces General Obligation Bond
  • Prepare pre-conceptual estimates of probable cost for potential projects
  • Develop and administer project grading, ranking, and prioritization
  • Formulate bond package options for consideration
  • Prepare a draft and final report

The ARC/ASA team worked closely with City staff throughout the facilitation process, and completed the findings in July 2022. The finalized report is available as a 10 MB PDF:

Download Go Bond Report

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some common questions about the general obligation bond process. To submit a question of your own, please contact us.

What is a GO Bond?

A GO Bond is a form of debt financing secured by property tax revenue. It does not result in higher taxes. General obligation bonds can be issued for general purpose projects.

In New Mexico, state law limits this financing to 4% of total assessed valuation, and requires each specific project to be presented as a separate question for voter approval.

The City’s previous bond election passed successfully. What did voters approve?

In 2018, voters expressed support for a $35.6 million GO Bond. Approved projects included:

2018 GO Bond Project List
Project Cost
Park Improvements / Dog Park / Sports Fields $16.9 million
New Animal Shelter Facility $9.6 million
Fire Station 3 Replacement $6.2 million
Walking, Jogging, Biking, and Recreational Trail Improvements $2.7 million
Total $35.6 million

More information about these projects is available from the City’s website.

How is GO Bond debt retired?

Retiring a debt refers to repaying it full. The borrower typically pays the debt 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.

What is the bonding capacity of the City of Las Cruces?

By state statute, New Mexico limits the amount of general obligation bonds issued by municipalities to 4% of total assessed valuation.

Will the City hold more GO Bond elections in the future?

Yes. Generally, communities issue and repay GO Bonds on a regular cycle—that is, every 2 to 6 years. The City of Las Cruces has initiated a 4-year GO Bond Cycle.

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). More information about the City’s CIP program is available from the City’s website.

How much money will the City ask voters of the 2022 GO Bond election to approve?

The City anticipates the 2022 GO Bond will ask voters to approve about $23 million in projects. No property tax increase is associated with the request.

When will the 2022 GO Bond Election Occur? When will the 2022 GO Bond Election Occur?

The next General Obligation Bond election will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The City of Las Cruces provides resources like this website to help voters determine the issues and priorities that will be put to the community for a vote.

What capital improvement projects will the 2022 GO Bond election include?

The City is asking for public input about what projects should be included in the election, and has scheduled public meetings to identify and discuss possible capital investments. Public input will also be solicited through a questionnaire on this website.

The City of Las Cruces provides resources like this website to help you determine the issues and priorities to present to the community for review and a vote. City officials have offered the following potential projects to begin the discussion about how to best use the GO Bond resources to meet city needs:

  • Complete Phase 2 East Mesa Public Recreation Complex
  • Library System Expansion and Renovation
  • Park Development and Rehabilitation
    • New Parks
    • Villa Mora Dam Build Out
    • Open Space Acquisition
    • Continued Trail and Multi-Use Path Development
    • Archery and Shooting Ranges
    • Skate Park
  • Multi-Purpose Community / Recreation Facility
  • Affordable Housing Initiatives
  • Historic Building Renovation
  • Metropolitan Redevelopment District Initiatives
  • Public Safety Improvements

This list is neither comprehensive nor definitive, but more of a means to promote public feedback. This website soon will provide additional information on these projects and others as they develop through the public input process.

How to Participate

The City welcomes your thoughts about the GO Bond and the implementation of its projects. You can provide input by attending a public meeting and emailing your suggestions to gobond@las-cruces.org.

It is incredibly important that we get this feedback from the community to help set the direction for what projects the City will choose to benefit the community.

— David Weir, deputy director of the Community Development Department

Public Meetings

In-Person Public Input Meetings

The introductory presentation from each of the public input meetings is available for download (PDF).

Una presentación de estas juntas de opinión de la comunidad está disponible para descargar (PDF).

A schedule of event dates appears below:

Locations for Upcoming In-Person Meetings
Date Time Location Address
DACC Auditorium 2800 Sonoma Ranch
DACC Auditorium 2800 Sonoma Ranch
Sat, Mar 19 9:30 AM Branigan Cultural Center 501 N. Main
Thurs, Mar 31 12:00 PM City Council Chambers 700 N. Main
Thurs, Mar 31 6:00 PM City Council Chambers 700 N. Main
Tues, April 05 12:00 PM Frank O'Brien Papen Center Auditorium 304 Bell Ave
Tues, April 05 6:00 PM Frank O'Brien Papen Center Auditorium 304 Bell Ave
Tues, April 12 5:30 PM Sage Café 6121 Reynolds Dr
Tues, April 19 5:30 PM Utilities Boardroom 680 N. Motel Blvd
Virtual Public Input Meetings
Date Time Register
Thursday, April 7 6:00 p.m. Register via Zoom platform to attend
Thursday, April 14 6:00 p.m. Register via Zoom platform to attend

During each public meeting, participants express their support of a category or potential project with a green dot, opposition with a red dot, and added additional thoughts with notecards. The team is still documenting and categorizing the feedback, but an overview of the preliminary input appears below.

Public Input Sentiment
Public Input by Topic (Above)
*Topic response also may include specific project requests; Input gathered from 9 public meetings.
Public Input Sentiment
Content Written on Category Boards (Above)
Input gathered from 9 public meetings.
Public Input Sentiment
Comments from Public Speakers (Above)
Some speakers spoke about multiple topics, and this list may represent an overlap between general project topics and the speaker’s specific project ideas; Input gathered from 9 public meetings.
April 5, 2022

The on planning team held a community input meeting on April 5, 2022 at the Frank O'Brien Papen Center Auditorium.

Community input session examples from
Affordable Housing Initiatives East Mesa Public Recreation Center Historic Building Recreation Library System Recreation Center Park Development and Rehabilitation Public Safety Trail and Path Development Your Ideas
March 31, 2022

The on planning team held a community input meeting on March 31, 2022 in the City Council Chambers.

Community input session examples from
Affordable Housing Initiatives East Mesa Public Recreation Center Historic Building Recreation Library System Recreation Center Park Development and Rehabilitation Public Safety Trail and Path Development Your Ideas
March 19, 2022

The on planning team held a community input meeting on March 19, 2022 at Branigan Cultural Center.

Community input session examples from March 19, 2022
Affordable Housing Initiatives East Mesa Public Recreation Complex Multipuprpose Recreation Facility Library System Expansion and Renovation Multipurpose Community Recreation Center Park Development and Rehabilitation Public Safety Improvements Your Ideas
March 16, 2022

Two public meetings took place at Doña Ana Community College (DACC) on March 16, 2022.

Community input session examples from March 16, 2022
Public Safety Improvements Park Development and Rehabilitation Multipuprpose Recreation Facility Library System Expansion and Renovation Historic Building Renovation East Mesa Public Recreation Complex Affordable Housing Initiatives Affordable Housing Initiatives Your Ideas

Email Us

Send us an email with your input about potential projects at gobond@las-cruces.org.

Additional Resources

Register to Vote

Register and update voter information at the Doña Ana County Elections Bureau.

Doña Ana County Elections Bureau Voter Resources

2018 City of Las Cruces GO Bond Projects

The City of Las Cruces GO Bond Portal provides a transparent, direct method to check the status of current General Obligation (GO) Bond projects.

City of Las Cruces GO Bond Portal

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