How proposed public safety bond would impact EPFD

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EPFD's proposed bond funds alone stands at $191.2 million. However, the department hasn't received public safety bond funding since 2004.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso is gearing up for public presentations on the proposed $413 million public safety bond.

It’ll be up to voters to decide whether the bond passes that would help pay for public improvements for the El Paso Police Department (EPPD ) and the El Paso Fire Department (EPFD).

“We want to make sure that they are in good condition, good repair to take care of the men and women that take care of the city,” Terry Kebschull, Assistant Fire Chief for EPFD said.

Some of the proposed projects for EPFD include three new fire stations, a training academy, new headquarters, as well as upgrade all existing facilities.

“All the fire department facilities they range from 4 years old to 119 years old. The type of maintenance we’ll be doing will range anything from paint to carpet and tile, to major renovations,” Kebschull explained.

The bond is a debt the City of El Paso would pay back over time with taxpayer dollars.

Proposed bond funds for EPFD alone stands at $191.2 million. However, the department hasn’t received public safety bond funding since 2004.

“Annually, we struggle with the budget to maintain the fire stations equipment and vehicles,” Kebschull shared.

Kebschull also mentioned the main purpose of the bond is to provide more fire stations and better services to the East and West sides of town.

A small portion of the proposed funds would also go towards vehicles and equipment.

If the bond is approved by voters, funds would start being put to use beginning of 2020 and would raise property tax rates during the lifecycle of the bonds.

“As a city employee I’m not advocating to vote yes or no on this bond election. What I am asking is voters go register to vote, and go out and vote,” Kebschull shared.

Early voting will begin on October 21st through November 1st.

Election day is on November 5th.

For more information on the proposed 2019 public safety bond, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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