Nearly $1 billion public safety, health bond on November ballot

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso City Council is finalizing their proposed costs for a bond for fire, police, streets, public health and animal services.

The proposed proposition cost is just under a billion dollars with the largest portions going to police and fire followed by street improvements.

  • The bond would include more than $280 million for fire, including a new academy and logistics facilities, along with new equipment and vehicles.
  • Police would get more than $310 million for a new Regional Command Center, and maintenance and renovation of old facilities.
  • The bond would also set aside $268 million for street improvements. Including pavement improvements, traffic control and improving pedestrian infrastructure.

“It’s about that time frame that we touched one of these buildings. When you look at the differed maintenance on a lot of the buildings, we have not had a way outside of just regular maintenance projects,” said Dionne Mack the City Manager for Public Safety.

Oldest fire station in El Paso is an example of a building that needs maintenance. According to the city, it’s 119 years old.

More than $10 million would be used for Animal Services for new animal housing and a new custom transportation vehicle to transport pets in hopes of increasing adoptions. As well as more than $71 million for public health, including the creation of a new health department.

According to city officials the last time there was a bond for public safety it was in 2004.

“This really is going to give us an opportunity over the next 10 years and I really want to emphasize this is not a 5 year period. People often say this is a lot of money being spent in a short period of time because they’re comparing it to the 5-year mark that the school districts put out,” said Mack. “This is for 10 years and we will be rolling all of these projects out and completing them in that time frame”.

The bond will be on the ballot in November. Early voting begins on October 21 and election day is November 5.

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