Voters in El Paso this coming November will decide on a bond proposal that, if passed, will fund the construction of a new police department headquarters building, as well as four new command centers.
The $413 million bond is big, but greatly reduced from a $943 million bond aired earlier this summer by city officials.
That initial bond would have also paid for the construction of the new police facilities, as well as animal services facility work and street upgrade projects.
Anticipating that the $943 million bond, which would have been the largest such bond of its kind of El Paso history, might be too much of a hard sale, members of the El Paso City Council have now decided to go ahead with the significantly smaller $413 million bond.
Despite that reduced figure, the $413 million bond, if passed, would still pay for the construction of several new fire department buildings and station renovations.
The largest police project will see the construction of a $38.6 million Eastside Command Center, providing a facility presence for the El Paso Police Department where one does not currently exist on the city’s growing east side.
Of all the projects to be funded by the bond, perhaps the most visible will be the construction of a new police department headquarters.
The current station at 911 N. Raynor Street is a two-story structure built just after World War II that was formerly a Sears department store. That building was purchased by the City of El Paso in 1988 and has served as police headquarters ever since.
Altogether, the bond will fund just under $222 million in police department facility needs, and $191 million in fire department facility needs.
City council members are expected to vote next week on an ordinance officially calling for the November bond election.
By Garry Boulard
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