County Attorney advises Dona Ana County Commissioners
Tuesday about census requirements in request to create
a new City of Santa Teresa.

The Dona Ana Board of County Commissioners Tuesday set the fee required to conduct a required census in the effort to create a new City of Santa Teresa.

The incorporators, the Provisional Government of Santa Teresa (PGOST), will be required to deposit $1,286.25 with the county treasurer to provide the funds needed for the census. PGOST was prepared to make the deposit the same day, according to Scott Krahling, deputy county clerk.

The deposit was one of several options the commissioners had in the long history of the effort to create a City of Santa Teresa and is the last item needed to complete the incorporators' application. It does not mean the effort to creat a city will be successful, but it moves the process along.

The census must be completed within 30 days of the application being fully completed. It will be used to see if enough people and households are in the area being sought as part of the new city to allow it to function. If the census shows there are enough people, the county commissioners would have to set a special election and a majority of registered voters in the designated area would have to approve it.

Then the county would look at other factors, including available finances available to the city to provide required services to residents. A minimum would require funds to pay a city clerk, police protection and provide for a mayor and council.

The county commissioners would then vote whether to approve the city's application and forward it to Santa Fe for a state committee to approve or deny.

At any step along the way, legal objections could be filed to prevent the city from being formed.

Because the proposed new city is within five miles of the City of Sunland Park, it could object or offer its consent for creation of Santa Teresa.

The move to create the new City of Santa Teresa came as a result of Sunland Park considering annexation of the unincorporated area near the Santa Teresa County Club. That's when country club area residents, fearing higher taxes and what they perceived as a corrupt past in Sunland Park,  began to look at incorporation and PGOST was created.

In the meanwhile, a move to disincorporate Sunland Park has been started by some residents and they are being advised by Kraig Carpenter, one of the founders of the Santa Teresa incorporation movement.

Original estimates of how much a census might cost ranged to as high as $65,000. the incorporators found a Santa Fe company to use a process to provide a census (counting) for much less than its original estimate. The county government has issued a request for proposals to do the census and no company came forward.