EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso City Council voted Monday to divert $6.6 million budgeted for street repair to the city's rainy day fund - known as the budget stabilization fund - in case it's needed for more pressing items amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
Mayor Dee Margo broke a tie vote among council members to approve the measure, which had been recommended by City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and city staff.
It came at the end of an hours-long special session to discuss and examine changes to the city budget for the 2020 fiscal year.
The $6.6 million comes from a separate fund created about 18 months ago for street resurfacing intended to add to the certificates of obligation council approved as far back as 2011 for the same purpose, Gonzalez said.
A presentation during the meeting concluded that the financial impact on the city from coronavirus "will be twice as bad as (the Great Recession of) 2008 and will be sustained for a longer period of time."
The document indicated that the "largest impact will come from decrease in sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, bridge crossings, airport traffic, and mass transit," with additional impacts in other areas, including "permits, fines/forfeitures, charges for services."
Gonzalez said the city would also "adjust our spending by strategically holding in place with the many capital projects."
Below is a copy of the budget presentation. The entire meeting from Monday can be viewed in the video player beneath the document.