POSTED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 4:18pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 8:11pm
After months of debating and a few last minute changes, El Paso city leaders have voted on an initial plan for the renovation of San Jacinto Plaza.
But, that doesn't mean everyone agrees on the park's design.
"Discouraged. I'm really discouraged," representative Cortney Niland said.
"I'm really excited. Everyone had their own ideas of what the park should look like it was a very emotional issue for many and given the location and the history of the park," representative Steve Ortega said.
City leaders voted on San Jacinto's new design one issue at at time to try and please the entire community. The alligator fountain, which has always been in the center of the park, was going to be moved off to the side in the architect's previous design.
"I think the community has realized that the alligators are very important to all of us. They'll remain in the park and they'll be better protected," Ortega said.
Niland voted against keeping the alligator fountain in the middle and wanted to stick with the old plan because that's the design the community was most involved in...
"There were people that were allowed to come in the eleventh hour and change the plan and that does not respect the process that we went through, so that's why I voted against it," Niland said.
One constituent, Norma Chavez, agrees with representative Niland that it's the community's opinion that matters, not the investor's...
"You're asking $6 million to somebody's $250,000 private investment if he wants us to build his private park then he needs to put the $6 million up for the private park," Chavez said.
A trolley cafe will also be incorporated into the park where people can sit and eat, along with more grass, trees and even a splash pad.
"At the end of the day we're going to have a brand new, refurbished park that takes into account the history of the park, but makes some additions to the park that really enhance the park's value in the community," Ortega said.
Construction on the park should start sometime next year.