SEPTEMBER 19, 2005.

 The meeting was called to order with all Councilors present, at 1:00 sharp. A variation to the usual routine was that a gentleman from the Las Cruces Fire Department sang the Star Spangled Banner after the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Mattiace said he would like to do that at the first City Council session of every month. 

 During the public participation period, the subject of the city's disaster preparedness plan came up. It was recommended that the plan be made more accessible to the public. City Manager Moore said that he would see to that in the near future. The City Manager also brought up the fact that, in getting ready for downtown revitalization, the City has found that not all the property they thought they owned, such as the parking areas behind the Downtown Mall, are properly documented. The City is working on straightening that out.

 There was a long consent agenda, but not many items for discussion. The first was a resolution authorizing the City to enter into agreements for homebuyer education projects. It passed handily. The next issue was a resolution approving an amendment to the Home Loan Agreement between the City, Community Action Agency and Desert Palms Apartments for the development and construction of Desert Palms Apartments, a low income housing tax credit project. Some up-grading and improving of current apartments has already started. The company now wishes to build ten new units as part of the complex. Comments were all favorable. This complex will serve a severely under-served section of the population and will spruce up the whole neighborhood. It, too, passed unanimously.

 The next item was a policy proposed by the Community Development Department that would extend notification of hearings on new proposals for development and redevelopment to include members of any existing home owners associations or neighborhood associations. The associations would have to meet certain standards of membership and goals, in order to be included, but the policy would make it easier for neighbors in newly developing areas to become acquainted with plans and to comment earlier in the process. This, too, passed readily.

 Two other resolutions, both having to do with amending the budget to allow for infrastructure improvement and for highway work, were also passed unanimously.

Marnie Leverett

LWV of Greater Las Cruces