What Has the City Done for You Lately?

The El Paso Inc. reports that the City bought the County’s old 911 phone center building in downtown El Paso for $5 million in CARES funds.

We should ask, every time the City spends a dollar, what else could the City have spent that money on? How does the City allocate our scarce resources?

From abc10.com, in Sacramento:

The Greater Sacramento Urban League, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, and the city of Sacramento announced Monday they plan to launch a program to help people in Sacramento get trained for jobs in technology fields using a portion of the city’s CARES Act funding.

The program, titled the Digital Upskill Sacramento Program, focuses on training 40 people affected by COVID-19 and, specifically, people in underrepresented communities. The program is made in partnership with the General Assembly and Merit America, which work to train people for new careers.

Not only will the program offer 40 people the training necessary to gain employment in the technology field, but the program will also provide the participants with a free laptop, a stipend of $600 per week for nine weeks, and assistance in job placement.

“The promise of this program is that it connects all the dots: Participants are provided with high-quality instruction and a basic income that will allow them to complete their training without economic hardship, and then they are placed in jobs,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a press release.

. . .

This program will be using $787,650 of CARES Act relief funding. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council’s President and CEO Barry Bromme said while this program is using CARES Act funding, the council will work towards making job training like this program available for more than just the initial 40.

A laptop, 21st century job training, and $600 a month. All for less than $800 thousand.

Some cities pursue economic development by improving the lives of their citizens. Other cities build amenities to attract people from out of town.

What has the City of El Paso done for you lately?

4 comments

  1. The answer to your question is simple and short: Nothing. Nada. Rien. But you knew that…the people who do get something from the City probaby don’t comment on your blog!

  2. Headline says they bought it for a “Covid 19 Headquarters.” I no longer have a subscription to the El Paso Inc, so would you mind sharing what the article says the City plans to use the building for? It seems absurd to spend all that money for a “Covid 19 Headquarters” when the pandemic will (hopefully) be long gone by the time they finish renovating the building.

    1. The article doesn’t address the building’s use beyond Covid.

      That building, and another it purchased for $5.4 million last month, will house the city’s fast-growing COVID-19 operations as it prepares for the pandemic to stretch into next year and, possibly, beyond.

      . . .

      It will serve as the city’s new headquarters for a much-expanded COVID-19 contact tracing operations, after the city spends another $1.5 million to furnish and equip the building.

      “We are already using a portion of the building and staff will continue to occupy the building as additional work areas are set up,” said city spokesperson Tammy Fonce in response to questions from El Paso Inc.

      “The building will house more than 150 people, including epidemiologists, the COVID Education Task Force and contact tracers,” she said.

      City Engineer Sam Rodriguez, who is overseeing the project, said, “The guidelines that came from the federal government allowed us to purchase facilities to respond to COVID-19 – not just in the short term, but on a continuous basis.”

      Like those 42 acres at I-10 and Paseo del Norte, it’s just a part of the City’s burgeoning real estate empire.

      1. Thank you Rich. That’s just as absurd as I had feared. When the pandemic is finally over the City will be left holding the bag for a $6.9 million building that they will no longer need.

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