Las Cruces City Councilors unanimously approved the firefighter and police positions in a vote as part of the 2016-17 budgets.

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The budget has room for $383.6 million in spending across departments in Las Cruces. Las Cruces officials say the fire positions are needed to staff a new public safety complex under construction on the East Mesa area. This will be done to improve response times for residents on that side of the city.

Fire and police academies are already underway for the project and hiring will soon take place. The downtown project has also been improved for the city which will include the parking garage for downtown along with a proposed building with a full service restaurant, a martini bar, a pub and tap room, a coffee shop and bakery, a courtyard between the new development and the Amador Hotel, and new headquarters for the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, on property where My Brother’s Place Restaurant and Billiard’s Parlor now is.