Following guidance from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health, related to limiting large public gatherings to help reduce the spread of illnesses, the City of Las Cruces has updated operational changes for City government. The updated operational changes become effective at midnight Monday, March 17, 2020.
All public input meetings that had previously been scheduled by the City have been canceled. The cancelations include all public input meetings related to General Obligation (GO) Bond projects. City board meetings may continue and deal with essential business, but no public participation will be allowed. The City’s Veterans Advisory Board meeting, on March 25, 2020, is canceled.
Most City operated facilities are closed the public. Among the closures are all museums, the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., and Visit Las Cruces, 336 S. Main St. The Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave., is currently closed to events.
Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., will be closed to the public from March 17, 2020 until April 9, 2020. The library’s branches at Munson Center, 975 S. Mesquite St., and Sage Café, 6121 Reynolds Drive, also are closed.
The library will provide some limited services by telephone, such as item renewal, library card sign-up, digital resource troubleshooting and reference, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The library will waive all late fees and fines and will also be allowing unlimited renewals either online or on the phone. Books by Mail will also continue.
Important telephone numbers for Branigan Library include: 575/528-4000 for basic information, Books by Mail, Circulation, item renewal; 575/528-4005 for reference help; and for media help – or trouble-shooting digital services, call 575/528-4000 or 575/528-4012.
All City recreation centers are closed and so is the Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center. Senior Centers are closed, but meals are being provided through alternate means.
City parks remain open and restrooms at parks that have them are also open. However, the public is encouraged not to congregate in large groups at parks.
The City’s transit system continues moving but its operations are under review. Consideration is being given to limiting access to the Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transit Terminal, 399 W. Lohman Ave., by opening the terminal only when buses are there. Buses are being sanitized on a regular basis. Transit riders are urged to limit use of buses or Dial-A-Ride service only for essential uses, to minimize the spread of illnesses.
City utilities customers are encouraged to utilize other methods to pay their bills, such as paying bills online, instead of going to City Hall. However, utility services will not be shut off. The City is considering the possibility of implementing a drop-box service that customers could use to drop off payments.
Other assistance programs offered by Las Cruces Utilities include calling Customer Central, at 575/541-2111; Payment Plan Agreements; Preferred Payment Date; Budget Payment Plans; Promise To Pay; Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program; and Referral to Charitable Fund Sources; and Las Cruces Utilities’ Bill Assistance Program. Customers are urged to call Customer Central for details about any or all of these assistance programs.
The Las Cruces Utilities Center, 680 N. Motel Boulevard, will be closed beginning March 17, 2020. Utility bill payments at the East Mesa Customer Service Center, 5195 Bataan Memorial West, will be limited to cash only.
City Hall, 700 N. Main St., will be closed to the public beginning March 17 except for utilities customers who need to pay their monthly bills or establish new utility service. Signs will be posted at City Hall to direct utilities customers where they can enter and exit to complete their transactions. Only online applications will be accepted from anyone seeking employment with City government. People seeking or renewing business permits or applying for a business permit will have to do so online.