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Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 10:59pm
MESILLA, N.M. — In a month's time the Town of Mesilla has received a new fire truck and has now been approved state funding for repairs to its rundown Public Safety Building.
The state has approved $452,000 for repairs to the 1970's building that has had up to 21 code violations.
"When the mayor texted me when she first got the news last Friday, the first thing I said was thank you father," said Mesilla Fire Chief Kevin Hoban.
The town will use the money to repair a leaky roof, build an ADA compliant bathroom and electrical work.
Money will also go toward repairing the structural integrity of the building.
"We are going to stop the deterioration of this building by stabilizing the wall structures and things that are coming apart," Hoban said.
The town had tried to fund the repairs and the purchase of a new fire truck through a general obligation bond last March.
Voters turned down the bond and funding for the projects had to be found elsewhere.
"It wasn't a landslide defeat but still you came away with that kicked in the stomach feeling," Hoban said.
During the last legislative session town leaders worked with state representatives to help fund the improvements.
Mesilla Mayor Nora Barraza said they focused primarily on finding money for the building.
"We weren't going to give up after that bond failed and we still aren't going to give up because this building is in dire need," Barraza said.
Barraza said everybody in town benefits from having public safety.
Money will also be allocated for a new heating and cooling system.
Currently the building uses space heaters to warm up in the winter and an evaporative cooler system to cool the building in the summer.
Hoban is also hoping the money can be stretched to replace old windows and doors making the building more energy efficient.
The chief is also hoping for a new kitchen.
"This will encourage our volunteers to spend more time here and to do overnight shifts and things like that which will provide better protection for the town," Hoban said.
Hoban and Barraza were very appreciative of lawmakers for making it possible to find funding.
The town will now look to update a 2009 analysis on the needs of the building and come up with a design plan.