Millions of dollars approved to make improvements to the city of El Paso

San Jacinto Plaza

Almost $70 million was approved Monday to make the city of El Paso better. The money comes in the form of Certificates of Obligation. El Paso City Council approved almost $70 million in Certificates of Obligation to improve four key areas: streets, public safety, infrastructure and quality of life.

"We already know there's a list of critical streets that need to be repaired,” said Robert Cortinas with the El Paso Office of Management and Budget.

Some $18.1 million will go towards streets. That includes $0.8 million to find out which streets need to be repaved, almost $5 million for the Sun City Lights Entryway projects and another $5 million for signals at intersections.

Also, $25.1 million will go towards public safety. That includes $19.8 million for a new police fleet, $2.3 million for the fire department and $2.5 million to repair the parking garage at police headquarters.

"My dad is a cop so I always think that funding the police can always be a really good thing,” said East El Paso resident Jessi Duran. "That's why we are ranked the second safest city in the country."

Another $2.65 million will go towards addressing the city's infrastructure. The city is allocating $0.95 million to fix Cohen Stadium and $0.7 million on the restrooms at San Jacinto Plaza.

Some $22.9 million will go towards quality of life projects, with $10.1 million allocated for three new aquatic facilities and $6.7 million for two 50-meter swimming pools.

"I have high school swimmers. There was no pool on the Westside for them to swim at,” said West El Paso resident Melissa Himes. “They swim down here at Armijo. So for us to be able to have an aquatic center on the Westside is a big deal so we don't have to travel up to the Eastside to have meets."

"Based on what we've seen historically, we don't see a lot of attendance or participation at regular pools,” Cortinas said. “So the city manager has expressed doing a regional aquatic facility. Really giving the public something that they've never seen before."

The city said the projects listed are completely funded already.

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