The Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution at its Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 regularly scheduled meeting to approve a five-year contract with BYD Coach and Bus, a Los Angeles, California limited liability company, to purchase five battery electric powered transit buses for RoadRUNNER Transit.
The contract is not to exceed $4,1145,774, plus gross receipts tax. The contract also includes options to purchase seven more buses.
The five electric buses will replace diesel fueled buses the City purchased in 2004. The Council was told the battery electric powered buses will have a 12-year life expectancy.
RoadRUNNER Transit has established a goal of having 20 percent of its buses be battery electric buses in the first stage of transitioning its fixed route fleet. The Elevate Las Cruces Plan also calls for converting RoadRUNNER Transit’s fleet to cleaner energy fuels, such as compressed natural gas or renewable energy such as battery electric buses.
City Council also adopted an Ordinance to terminate a Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) agreement with 420 Valley, a limited liability company that had plans to establish a hemp processing facility in Las Cruces. The Ordinance authorizes the return of $400,000 in LEDA funds to the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
In December 2019, City Council authorized the City to act as the fiscal agent for 420 Valley LLC. The City received $400,000 from the New Mexico Economic Development Department for the project. In addition, the City provided $150,000 in local matching funds. However, none of the LEDA and City’s matching funds have been used.
As stipulations of the LEDA agreement, 420 Valley, LLC had to hire at least 18 employees by Dec. 31, 2020 and 55 full-time employees by Dec. 31, 2023. However, 420 Valley, LLC has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and did not meet its hiring goal by the end of 2020. The company had an additional “cure period” of 180 days to fill its 2020 hiring level but did not do so, which cancels the LEDA agreement.
Additionally, the Council unanimously approved a Resolution to adopt the East Lohman Development Plan at Monday’s meeting.
The City of Las Cruces contracted with Sites Southwest in the summer of 2020 to prepare a land development master plan for approximately 509 acres that is roughly centered on the intersection of east Lohman Avenue and south Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. The planning area includes approximately 140 acres of City-owned land located south of Lohman Avenue and west of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard.
The Resolution’s adoption will allow the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council to use the East Lohman Development Plan to provide guidance related to the subdivision, zoning, development, infrastructure investment, and any financial assistance for the planning area. The development plan includes a conceptual site plan with health service, mixed commercial and hospitality, missing middle housing, detached housing, and open space land use areas.
Overall, the site plan promotes and creates a neighborhood center that values healthy lifestyles and living, provides diverse and attainable housing, and incorporates the existing open spaces and appropriate green infrastructure into the site.