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El Paso city bond measure slashed by half for November ballot

The good news is a potential, nearly $1 billion bond is no more.

The El Paso City Council on Monday cut that proposed bond by a little more than half.

However, that bond — if approved by voters in November — will cover only fire and police needs.

City leaders on Monday set the proposed bond at $413 million.

The initial proposed bond was a whopping $943 million dollars, which several city representatives admitted their constituents were not happy about.

But, what’s different about this bond is that it does not include health and animal services, or street construction and repair.

The police and fire chiefs went before city council to let them know they are in dire need of new buildings, repair to old ones and manpower.

Mayor Dee Margo said right now there is no police command center in the city’s far east side.

“We’ll build a new police headquarters. Remember, they’re in a building that was built in 1947 as a sears and Roebuck. The parking garage has collapsed for all intents and purposes,” said Margo.

The mayor went on to say that if approved, the bond would also go to pay for new fire headquarters, which he noted is currently housed in a bank building.

Police chief Greg Allen, who said he’s been asking for more money for the past ten years, gave city leaders an ultimatum.

“If we don’t get commitments from you, and that’s your decisions, then don’t call me to ask me why we can’t do something. That is just the bottom line. Bottom line, I can’t afford to play games,” the city’s top cop said.

Taxpayers will have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed bond on Aug. 6 and 13 during public hearings.

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