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10-27-1998 VEkRAN S AFFAIRS ADVISORY40ARD CITY OF LAS CRUCES P.O. DRAWER 2000 LAS CRUCES , NEW MEXICO 88004 27 October 1998 The board convened at 1300 in the conference room of city hall. Roll call was taken. Present were: Chairman Joeseph Heintz, Vice Chairman Warren Rogers, VVA rep Elsa Baker, VFW rep Robert Wiley, AMVETS Rep Noel Cooley, and Atomic Vets rep Ted Garcia. This constituted a quorum. Representative from Joe Skeen' s congressional office was Donna McClanahan, Rep from Senator Domenici was Louise Rutledge. The minutes of last month' s meeting were approved. Committee reports Elsa Baker presented a report on the Veterans Memorial Park attached as encl 1 . Warren Rogers reported on the Veterans Day Parade scheduled for 7 November, the Mayfield High Veterans ceremony on 10 November, and the ceremony on 11 November to he held in Mesilla, followed by the POW/MIA ceremony to be held at the NMSU Horseshoe with lighting of luminarias in the evening. The meeting adjourned at 1415. The next meeting will be here at 1300 24 November. X11 arre.VV Rdgek Acting Secretary 1 end a/s VAAB 27 October 1998 Veterans Memorial Park. Two major Las Cruces Sun-News articles have appeared this past month concerning the Veterans Memorial Park. The September 29, 1998 article titled "Council rejects builders' request . to freeze park fees" reported that at a-working group of the City Council _ attended by Councilors: Haltom, Stevens, Frietze and Valencia, the Home Builders Association's bid to build the Veterans Memorial Park carried in it a provision which requested the City (City Council) , to keep current park fees at the same rate until 1 July 2000. This was seen as payment (of sorts) for the estimated $145•,000 of free labor and equipment use provided by the Home Builders Association. Digging deeper into the matter, the article mentions that originally, the Homebuilders Association wanted to increase the fees by $25 on 1 July 1999 and then freeze them for 2 years. The City Staff felt that this "original" request was unreasonable. The Staff, working with the Home Builders then came up with the plan that went to the City Council working group. The City Staff's efforts to work a compromise with the Home Builders Association was rejected as a solution'by the Councilmen. The Home Builders Association felt they were publicly embarrassed by the incident and said that an understanding about the fees was always part of the talks with".Staff. The park fees are set by City Council. It is a cost that is passed along to the home buyer by the home builder. The second major article in the Las Cruces Sun-News was printed on October 13th. The article announced that a representative of the Home Builders Association would try to meet with each City Councilman privately to explain their position. In the meantime, Mr. Jim Erikson sent a letter to the Home Builders Association inquiring as to whether they would bid for the park without a clause concerning the park fees. This letter- has not been officially answered. Mr. Erikson told me on October 27th that the City Manager, Jesus Nava is working the issue. Mr. Nava _is out of town this week. It is my understanding the the Home Builders Association is willing to do it with a handshake agreement on fairness to the park fees if property taxes are raised. Park fees are an additional tax. City of Las Cruces Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez does not,-.consider the atter to be settled yet. If the Home Builders do have a revised bid, it would have to go before another City Council working group in a couple. of weeks. If approved, it would go before the entire Council. She informed me that the Home Builders Association was having a meeting on 27 October on this issue. The City's back-up position is that if it all falls apart with the Home Builders Association the scope of the Veterans Memorial Park will be reduced to stay within budget and then- bid out for_:construction. Mr. Scott Moore, a member of the Home Builders Association, started getting involved with this issue after the September 29th article appeared in the paper. The Home Builders Association has noted that the present system of : . collecting park fees and developing parks as funding permits, has led to delays in getting parks built. An alternative way of building parks would be for the developers to build the parks simultaneously with the houses and then turn over the completed parks .in lieu of fees. The Veterans Park has become a pivot point for the introduction of new concepts. It will be up to the City Council and the Home Builders Association to work this out. In the meantime, the building of the Veterans Memorial Park waits. Elsa J. Baker Veteran Coordinator