LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas Village Council unanimously voted on May 6 to dissolve part of the LEDA fund created in 2016 for the Facebook Data Center.
According to Jill Sweeny, the village’s bond attorney, two parts make up the entirety of the LEDA fund — one part being the $10 million grant awarded by the state for certain infrastructure in relation the data center and the other being an increment of the village gross receipts tax generated by the activity on site. Only the village portion of the LEDA fund will be dissolved.
“Now that five or six years have gone by, certain public infrastructure that was contemplated to be paid for by the local LEDA isn’t needed, other public infrastructure is needed,” Sweeney told the council. “In addition, the village and the company had agreed that the village will be the party that will contract and manage that gross receipts tax for that public infrastructure in the ordinary course.”
The state grant portion of the LEDA fund will continue to operate as intended as the projects funded by the grant are completed. Any other local infrastructure projects that would have previously been funneled through the village funded portion of the fund will now go through the traditional capital improvement process.
“At the end of the day, the same gross receipts tax will accrue to the village to be expended on the same projects,” Sweeny said. “It’s just not necessary to go through that administrative step.”
Councilor Phillip Jaramillo raised concerns about language in the resolution and the original agreement that the LEDA fund could not be dissolved with a resolution, but an ordinance. After a discussion, village attorney Larry Guggino said the agreement can be amended by resolution as long as the amendment is not “substantive in nature.”
“Basically, all of the projects that are listed in the exhibit A, those projects, have already all been bid out or are already in the system to be completed,” Guggino said. “So, when those projects are done, the PPA will end anyway. I think what we are really trying to change is the whole idea that we’re not going to have to account to Greater Kudu anymore for that 10 percent that goes into the special fund.”
The money in the fund has already been committed to the agreed upon infrastructure projects, leaving little to do with the fund as it stands, Guggino said.
Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.