Sunland Park to discuss ‘threatened litigation’ over border fence

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Workers build a privately-funded barrier on private land in Sunland Park, N.M., Thursday, May 30, 2019. The New Mexico city is allowing construction to resume of the privately funded barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border following questions about its permit. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. — The City of Sunland Park is having an executive session this week in response to possible legal action regarding the privately-funded border fence built on American Eagle Brick Co. property.

The executive session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sunland Park City Hall, prior to the 6 p.m. regular council meeting. 

City officials said today they cannot comment on what is discussed in executive session nor on matters of pending litigation.

The agenda for Tuesday’s closed-door session mentions “discussion of threatened litigation regarding the fence at 1000 Brickland Road,” which is the address of the property where We Build the Wall constructed a privately-funded $6 million to $8 million steel bollard fence with lights, cameras, sensors and a paved driveway for U.S. Border Patrol vehicles.

Mayor Javier Perea attracted national attention last week by announcing a cease-and-desist order against the construction of the fence because it lacked a municipal building permit.

The City eventually granted the permit, but hours later Perea said at a press conference that staff members had acted prematurely in granting the permit and that the municipality, as well as state officials, would be looking more closely at the matter. The mayor didn’t rule out the possibility of fines if it turned out the permitting process wasn’t followed properly.

We Build the Wall organizers last week chastised the City over the cease-and-desist and work stoppage order, which they said should’ve never been issued because they complied with applicable laws.

One of the owners of American Eagle Brick declined to talk to the press this morning and another one didn’t immediately return a telephone call.

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