EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Many El Pasoans are familiar with seeing and feeding the parking meters around the Cincinnati Entertainment District.
Now, the City of El Paso will look at how to utilize the money the meters collect to make the area safer for everyone.
Sammy Holaschutz, a Kern resident, attended the council meeting on Tuesday and spoke on behalf of the Uptown Parking Benefit District Committee.
Holashutz along with city staff and local law enforcement members recommended to city council to add 68 more parking meters around the Cincinnati Entertainment District. They also recommended to extend the meter hours from 8 a.m. until 3 a.m.
These new additions would not come at a cost out of the city’s general fund.
“Our main focus right now is the security to make sure people are safe. We’re not looking at businesses. We’re looking at safety,” Holaschutz, “With the increase of these new parking meters, the revenue, we should be allowed to allocate more funds from that fund balance to provide more services and to allow more police to hire more off duty officers to protect the neighborhood.”
The main purpose of the recommendation focuses on the community’s safety.
“We have seen that the traffic has created a lot of issues such as violence and disturbances in the neighborhood. So our focus is to keep the neighborhood safe,” Holaschutz shared.
”If the numbers of people become exuberant to the point where officers feel threatened for their own personal safety, that’s where officers have the legitimate and legal means to resort to deadly force which is problematic because of the situation they may occur in,” Greg Allen, El Paso Police Chief added.
Council approved the following recommendations with potentially adding four more officers on site. There are currently only four.
“If violence is a current at either one of those particular situations then people aren’t going to want to come there. That’s the problem with it. Who wants to go to any place where potentially you might become a victim of crime,” Allen explained.
The recommendation also suggested for the cost of adding these new meters not to exceed $34,000.
As of right now, there’s currently over $69,000 in the parking meter fund balance.