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City considers state funding for police vehicles

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City staff say that two more fully equipped police vehicles could be purchased with the state monies allocated by the New Mexico Legislature. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Monies now available from 2019 legislative action could also provide food and housing for those in need

City of Roswell officials are set to decide whether to accept another $182,000 in state monies for police vehicles and for food and housing assistance for those in need.

The state allocations are among those made to the city by the New Mexico Legislature in 2019 through Senate Bill 536, nicknamed House Bill 2 Jr.

“The legislative appropriations were received after the fiscal year budget was adopted,” said Juan Fuentes, administrative services director for the city of Roswell. “Therefore, in addition to accepting the grants, a resolution amending the budget is necessary for proper accounting of revenue and expenditures.”

The Finance Committee of the Roswell City Council is due to consider the funding and budget matters at its Jan. 2 meeting. The group will determine whether to forward the agenda items to the entire council for the Jan. 9 or subsequent meetings.

Fuentes said the $100,000 provided for city police vehicles is expected to fund two fully equipped vehicles.

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He added that the city had listed new police vehicles on its state funding request list, the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan.

According to the legislation, the $82,000 is to be used to provide “meals and temporary housing for men, women and children in Roswell.”

Fuentes said if the funding is accepted by elected officials, the city will seek nonprofits to provide the services and housing to those in need.

“A call for applications from nonprofit organizations will be issued in January,” he said.

He also said that qualified nonprofit organizations can contact him for additional information at 575-624-6400, ext. 207, or j.fuentes@roswell-nm.gov.

In both cases, the money must be expended by the end of the 2020 fiscal year, or June 30, or it has to be returned to the state.

Senate Bill 536 also made a third allocation to the area. The legislation indicates that $75,000 was given to the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department for “youth symphony music programs and concerts in Roswell.”

The city is not involved in that funding item, Fuentes said.

According to the Cultural Affairs Department website, its Arts Division provides grants to schools, nonprofits and governmental units to support the arts and arts education.

As with the other two funding allocations, the money for symphony programs is to be expended by June 30.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.