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City Forms Committee To Look Into PSB Land Arrangement

City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to form a blue ribbon committee to look into the way that the Public Service Board disposes of land in the community.

The PSB has been in charge of land management sharing in El Paso since the 1950’s.

“They will sit down and talk about the current structure and come back to Council and the PSB in a joint meeting,” Mayor John Cook said. “They will come up with an equitable negotiation taht harms neither side.”

City Representative Cortney Niland pointed out that it was 60 years ago to the day that the City Council established the ordinance that established the PSB.

“With growth comes growing pains,” Niland said. “It’s certainly very good faith to study this issue and make sure we address the needs of this community.”

City Representative Steve Ortega said one of the things that will be discussed is the revenue sharing arrangement for City of El Paso with the PSB, which is currently five percent of land sales.

“Some City Reps feel that number should be higher,” Ortega said. “There have been many questions that have been raised over the last several years concerning how the PSB disposes of land and so that’s one thing the PSB blue ribbon committee is going to discuss.”

Ortega pointed out that the PSB is El Paso’s largest land holders.

“So we’re talking about how El Paso grows, the sprawl versus the infill debate,” Ortega said. “The PSB is central to that because they’re such a large land owner in our community.”

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