City Council Approves Formation of COVID Vaccine Task Force

The Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution supporting the creation of a COVID-19 vaccination task force in Las Cruces. The Council’s action came at its Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 meeting.

The task force will include: Assistant City Manager Eric Enriquez; Interim City Fire Chief Jason Smith; two leaders of faith-based groups in Las Cruces; chief executive officers or administration designees from Memorial Medical Center and MountainView Regional Medical Center; Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo or designee; an administrative designee from New Mexico State University; Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda Lopez-Askin; Quality of Life Department Director Lynn Gallagher; Councilor Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, Chair of the City’s Health Policy Review Committee; Mayor Pro Tem Kasandra Gandara, a member of the Health Policy Review Committee, Councilor Yvonne Flores, who also serves on the Health Policy Review Committee; and a representative from the City’s Legal Department.

The task force will work to coordinate effective channels for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines that aims to address the needs of all persons who want to be inoculated. Additionally, the task force will aim to provide the proper support mechanisms in place to promote vaccination.

City Council also adopted a Resolution to approve agreements between the City of Las Cruces and various nonprofit partners of emergency assistance programs to address the community impact of COVID-19. The Resolution allows for service agreements, of as much as $150,000, between the City and nonprofit organizations to provide direct services to sick and indigent residents.

The Council also affirmed a third Resolution to include businesses in the distribution of face masks for their continued operations. City businesses and nonprofit organizations will be eligible to receive a box of 50 disposable masks for customers’ and employees’ protection from COVID-19. The masks must not be resold.

The Resolution was proposed by the Las Cruces Economic Recovery Ad-Hoc Board (LCERB), which recommends strategies to the Mayor and City Council for gradually reopening the City’s economy in a smart, safe, and effective manner.

The Council also unanimously voted to adopt a Resolution to build a new park within a one-mile radius of Mesa Grande Road and Central Road, in City Council District 5. The estimated costs to purchase land, design and build the park are $180,000 for the land purchase and $491,000 for the design, construction, contingency, and taxes.

The size of the proposed park could be two acres or less and its amenities may include a playground for children 5 to 12 years old, a picnic shelter with a table, benches, trash receptacles, a bike rack, pet waste bag dispensers, a drinking fountain, and appropriate landscaping and irrigation.