Map 
display of Santa Teresa/Sunland Park area. Santa 
Teresa residents are seeking signatures on petition to
form a new city.

There could be a new city in New Mexico in the next six to 18 months.

Residents of unincorporated areas in Dona Ana County near Sunland Park are seeking signatures for a petition to force an election to incorporate as the City of Santa Teresa.

The group has more than 700 signatures so far and hopes to get many more. Volunteers are staffing a table at the Santa Teresa Contract Postal Station this week and next. They are also going door to door this weekend seeking signatures.

This is the latest effort to avoid being annexed by Sunland Park which expressed interest in annexation of the homes around the Santa Teresa Country Club. Sunland Park expressed interest after some country club area residents had approached Sunland Park in an effort to help solve infrastructure problems in the area.

After the Country Club owner allowed the property, including the private roads, to deteriorate, some residents were seeking a way to get roads repaired, street lights restored as well as other general repairs and contacted Sunland Park to see if they could provide some kind of solution.

But that also concerned other Santa Teresa residents after all of Sunland Park's political and governmental problems of the last few years were brought up. While not offering any firm solutions to the country club area residents, Sunland Park still expressed an interest in studying possible annexing of the area.

That led to the effort to take the Country Club area, the industrial park area and some other areas not already in Sunland Park a separate city.And thus the petition campaign began.

It is still a long process to be approved as a new city in New Mexico. The petition campaign could lead to a special election on the formation of the new city which would be required to pay for an office, a clerk and a police chief at a minimum. Within a year there would be another election, this time for a mayor and council members.

The new city would be able to able to collect taxes, apply to obtain state and federal grants and seek a share of state and county funds. Still unknown is if the city could obtain the currently private roads in the Country Club area. The roads are in great need of repair.

New cities are rare in New Mexico. However Anthony, New Mexico was formed in the past few years and last Tuesday voters in an area near Farmington voted to form the City of Kirkland.


Ralph Encina and Rita Trevino man the table at the Santa
Teresa Contract Postal Station where theyare seeking
signatures on a petition to incorporate the Cityof Santa
Teresa.