Some residents of Santa Teresa are again attempting to incorporate as the City of Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

Last month the Provisional Government of Santa Teresa (PGOST) filed a petition to incorporate with the Dona Ana County Clerk.

A previous attempt at incorporation was withdrawn earlier this year after it was discovered that the area included might not have met the population requirements set by the state and that the fees for conducting a required census would be too expensive.

The group filed a new map of a proposed area of incorporation that members believe will meet the requirements.

Two hundred signatures were required to request that the Dona Ana County Commissioners approve the request to incorporate and forward it to the state.

After a community meeting at the Santa Teresa Country Club April 14 and a day of obtaining additional signatures, the group filed its new petition with the Country Clerk's office, April 17, according to Mary Gonzalez, one of the proponents of incorporation.

She said the County Clerk's office so far has only received one bid and has just completed responding to a second demographer who had some additional questions about submitting a  bid to conduct the required census for the incorporation process. 

PGOST is also talking with a demographer from New Mexico State University to consider submitting a bid for the census.

The group also intends to ask the City of Sunland Park to pass a resolution to endorse incorporation for Santa Teresa.

Sunland Park can object to the incorporation and seek to annex the area under New Mexico law.

In fact, it was a fear of annexation by Sunland Park of the area near the Santa Teresa Country Club last year that prompted the movement to incorporate as a separate city.

PGOST has an ambitious timetable to complete the process that would depend greatly on no opposition from Sunland Park.

According to a flyer left by PGOST at the Santa Teresa Contract Post Office, the group hopes to get approval from the County Commissioners, the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe to allow an election in the proposed incorporation area by July 7 of this year and, if approved, hold elections for city leadership in January.

The group claims they can operate with no increase in property taxes for those in the incorporation area and only a minimal sales tax increase which would allow for small improvements to infrastructure such as roads.

PGOST plans to create a government made up mostly of volunteers who would be elected to positions such as mayor and city counselors.

By law, the city would need to show it can pay for a city clerk/treasurer, a police chief and a city judge. An organizational chart on the group's flyer also shows various volunteer positions for other functions such as community outreach, economic development, marketing, planning and administration along with possible help from interns from the University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University.

The group says it plans to offer limited government and limited control for the proposed city.

The flyer talks of maximizing cooperation with Dona Ana County and neighboring communities to provide essential services such as police, fire, court and regulatory functions and to manage franchise utilities to reduce costs of water, electric, gas, cable, phone and sanitation services.

PGOST is also asking for financial support from donations to cover such items as permit fees, the census (estimated to cost up to $20,000), travel to Santa Fe and attorney fees. Donations are said to be tax deductible and may be made by cash, check or credit card to PGOST, PO Box 1362, Santa Teresa, NM 88008-1362.