Does the city have a plan to limit taxpayers' cost for changes at new transit center?

Northgate Transfer Center

In a previous “Just Ask John,” I let you know about the tax bill El Paso taxpayers are stuck with because of flooding concerns at Sun Metro's new Northgate Transit Center.

As I reported, the residential and commercial development that will surround the bus station has been delayed until next spring.

The city of El Paso said that's because the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently determined that part of the 30-acre site sits in a floodplain. So some of the buildings will need to be moved or reconstructed.

In addition, the city needs to raise the ground level to a point that it can be approved by FEMA.

The city's responsible for the remediation as part of its contract with the developer, Hunt Properties.

Sun Metro spokeswoman Tammy Fonce said that the city has budgeted an additional $1 million to build a right of way and to get the area out of the floodplain.

But she said that the city's also working to keep the project from costing local taxpayers any more than that.

El Paso Water is building a new stormwater facility in the Northeast, near the transit center. The soil that's removed from that construction site will be sent to the Northgate area to raise the ground there.

Fonce said that should help reduce the taxpayers' cost for both the fill and its delivery.

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