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December 19, 2013
Mayor, Several City Councilors and Senior City Staff

Met with Santa Fe’s Legislative Delegation to Discuss Priorities for the 2014 Session

 City of Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, several City Councilors and senior City staff met Wednesday, December 18, 2013 with Santa Fe’s legislative delegation: Senators: Phil Griego, Nancy Rodriguez, and Peter Wirth; and Representatives: Brian Egolf, Stephanie Garcia-Richard, Carl Trujillo, Jim Trujillo and Lucky Varela to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

The City presented its legislative priorities, which were well received by the delegation. Key priorities identified were:

  • Modifications to the hold harmless replacement gross receipts tax;
  • Funding for expansion efforts for the Santa Fe Airport Terminal;
  • Funding for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program;
  • Santa Fe water priorities.

Modifications to the Hold Harmless Replacement Gross Receipts Tax

Requested modifications to the hold harmless replacement gross receipts tax authorized by the legislature last year. As currently drafted, both the City and County have the capacity to charge up to an additional 3/8 of GRT as a replacement to the State’s elimination of its hold harmless payments.

Expansion Efforts for the Santa Fe Airport Terminal

The City seeks money for expansion of the Santa Fe Airport Terminal that would provide additional opportunities for locals to travel and ensure that our visitors have better facilities when traveling to and from Santa Fe. This would enhance the regional economy by making it possible for more commercial flights and passengers to travel directly to Santa Fe. This would include improved baggage handling facilities, waiting areas and enhanced security.

Funding for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program

The City is seeking funding for the LEAD Program, which aims to break the cycle of addiction and arrest of drug users who commit burglaries and other crimes to support their habits. The City has appropriated $300,000 over the next two years and is looking for other governmental and private sources to help pay for continued costs. This program has been successfully implemented in Seattle, Washington and is expected to provide additional relief from Santa Fe’s high burglary rates.

Santa Fe Water Priorities

Water priorities include implementation of the City’s Watershed Management Plan to prevent potentially catastrophic harm to the Santa Fe Basin watershed by forest fire. An additional benefit of such work is also to increase run-off, effectively increasing the water supply from the watershed that reaches the City’s reservoirs. In an effort also to decrease the negative impacts of turbidity in the Rio Grande caused by run-off from areas affected by forest fires, the City will seek funds to expand its water holding tank capacity at the Buckman Diversion from its current 2 million gallon capacity to 4-7 million gallons. More projects will be selected from planning documents so that Santa Fe stands ready to receive funding for projects during the legislative session.

Additional priorities were identified Citywide and by District which are available at City Hall for all interested parties.

 

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