Tomorrow, City Council will vote on whether or not to tell City Manager Tommy Gonzalez to come up with a current estimate of the cost to construct the controversial arena in Duranguito.
The item was placed on the agenda by District 6 Representative Claudia Lizette Rodriguez.
No brainer, right? Better information yields better decisions. The vote should be unanimous, 8-0, to approve the updated estimate.
You’ll remember, as part of the 2012 Quality of Life bond package, voters approved $180 million towards some vaguely worded proposition that included what the bond proponents later construed to mean a state of the art basketball arena.
Today, back of the envelope construction cost estimates have pushed the cost of the arena to closer to $500 million.
The whole $473 million bond package was never supposed to push the City’s share of property taxes over 61 cents per $100 valuation, according to the City’s Chief Financial Officer at the time. Currently, the City is sticking it to the taxpayers to the tune of 90 cents per $100. Immediately following passage of the bonds, the El Paso Times reported that “As a result of passing both propositions, homeowners will pay about $41.42 more a year for a home valued at $100,000 through 2030.”
Wouldn’t that be nice.
Ninety cents per $100 valuation is a lot more than they promised, and another half a BILLION dollar debt is going to hurt us even more.
Turns out the City has been playing hide the pickle with the taxpayers the whole time.
If you’d like to help persuade City Council to approve the motion to find out what the arena would cost today, please sign up to speak on Agenda Item 22 at https://www.elpasotexas.gov/city-clerk/meetings/city-council-meetings.