At yesterday’s City Council meeting, your Representatives voted 5-2 to support TxDOT’s plan to widen the freeway downtown.
You won’t read about it in the newspaper. The teevee stations aren’t reporting it. City Council rushed it through without even allowing public comment, in a flagrant violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Never mind that the population of El Paso isn’t growing, and traffic jams downtown aren’t El Paso’s biggest traffic problem. Have you ever been on I-10 east of Hawkins during rush hour?
No, TxDOT and City Council don’t care about the east side. They care about downtown.
And surprisingly, they don’t even care about the traffic. That’s just a ruse. What they really want is the deck above the freeway.
They want you to want the deck above the freeway, too.
So they talk about what a nice public park they’ll put there.
Great, huh? Everybody loves parks. Remember? That’s how they got you to vote for the arena in Duranguito. By lumping it in with the parks.
Except no one voted for an arena in Duranguito. That wasn’t even in the fine print. That was part of the secret plan, because a sports facility would have been a lightening rod for opposition, City Manager Joyce Wilson said in sworn court testimony.
Well, here we go again.
That deck isn’t for a park. At least not all of it. That deck is for a soccer stadium.
Here’s MountainStar CEO Josh Hunt, in a May 25, 2016, article on KFOXtv.com:
[MountainStar CEO Josh Hunt] said it’s still in the preliminary planning phases, but the group wants to build the stadium downtown.
“We could continue with the downtown revitalization efforts, but that doesn’t mean that it for sure has to be downtown. But that’s clearly our preference,” Hunt said.
There’s even talks of building the structure above Interstate 10. It’s called “capping the freeway.”
“Just from a transformational civic standpoint. I think it would be great if our city would look at capping our freeway and creating some great civic space, park space and other uses potentially,” Hunt said.
Those decisions are a long way out. So is the cost and how it would be paid for.
“I think anything that happens. it’s going to have to require city and county participation in some form, so we plan to be meeting with both entities,” Hunt said.
Now TxDOT would pay for the deck. That deck’s going to cost a billion dollars. That would have been paid for with oil tax revenues, like all the rest of TxDOT’s projects. Unfortunately, with Russia and Saudi Arabia in an oil price war, and the Coronavirus reducing everyone’s driving, oil tax revenues aren’t what they were even just three months ago.
But how TxDOT will pay for the deck is a separate problem. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.
Once TxDOT pays for the deck, what goes on the deck is the City’s problem.
And that’s where you come in.
The word on the street is that MountainStar has already agreed to build a soccer specific stadium for the Locomotive. The street says it’s in their contract with the USL.
Soccer stadiums aren’t as expensive as arenas. We’d probably be able to build a 7,500 seat soccer stadium for the money we save not building that $250 million arena.
(The way I’ve got it doped, the arena’s not even on the table anymore. That’s just a red herring to keep “the Crazies” (to quote the El Paso Times), from jumping up and down about the soccer stadium when that plan is made public. When they announce the stadium, they’ll even refer to the arena. They’ll say, “Look at how much money we saved by not building that arena in Duranguito.”)
Keep in mind that the Locomotives only play 19 home games a season. Keep in mind that we’re on the front end of global depression that will make the 2008 recession look like the mall at Christmas. Keep in mind that El Paso already has the highest property tax rate in the United States, and our population growth has remained stagnant since 2012, the year that the City began this experiment in social engineering, and the City is already on the hook for more than two billion dollars in debt.
MountainStar is losing a million bucks a year on the Chihuahuas. It doesn’t matter how many season tickets they sell. If people don’t go to the games, they’re not selling $8 beer and hot dogs. If you’re wondering where the philanthropy of the oligarchs went, they way they see it, that million bucks a year is their gift to El Paso.
MountainStar’s gift to El Paso is like that puppy your ex gave you for Christmas that one year. It was nice, but you never would have bought a dog yourself, and now you have to feed it and worm it and take it to the vet. You have to pick up the dog shit.
That’s the kind of deal MountainStar makes with El Paso.
They get the dog, and we get the dog shit.