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Las Cruces City Council overrules mayor, allowing restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity

UPDATE: Las Cruces City Council on Monday evening struck down Mayor Ken Miyagishima's proclamation, clearing the way for local restaurants to reopen right away at 50% indoor capacity instead of 25%.

ORIGINAL REPORT: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A Las Cruces restaurant owner is extremely critical of the mayor's added restrictions on opening businesses this week.

"It's the difference between having the ability to pay the bills and try to get people back to work and make sure we start moving forward with our economy or absolute financial devastation," said Marci Dickerson, owner of the Game I and the Game II in Las Cruces.

On Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is allowing restaurants in New Mexicoto reopen at 50 percent indoor capacity. However, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima issued an emergency proclamation on Friday placing Las Cruces restaurants at 25 percent indoor capacity and 50 percent outdoor capacity.

"I know these restrictions are not very popular and I sincerely hope I am wrong to implement these," wrote Mayor Miyagishima in a statement to ABC-7. "I based these guidelines on a series of medical information and various other information I have read and seen."

"It is absolutely devastating for the small businesses in Las Cruces," said Dickerson.

Mayor Miyagishima said his rationale for the further restrictions is what he calls a low testing rate. He said only six percent of the population has been tested.

"Would you call the winner of an election with 6 percent of the votes being counted?" the mayor asked, adding "Imagine, 94 percent of the patrons could be carriers and not even know it."

However, the mayor's emergency proclamation will only last 72 hours. Ultimately, the Las Cruces City Council will vote on whether to extend the restrictions on Monday.

"Many of the restaurateurs are going to go file an emergency injunction and basically file suit and do our best to have a legal battle with the city of Las Cruces," Dickerson told ABC-7.

New Mexico / News / Top Stories

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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