Back in 2012 the voters in the city approved $473 million worth of bonds for various projects.
Five years later we can see the city’s progress in this chart that city staff presented at the July 11. 2017 city council meeting:
Wow, $29 million dollars in only five years.
At this rate we should look forward to completion in 81 years.
We deserve better
I’d say that since so few actually bothered to vote at that time, that maybe a do over would be appropriate. First, scrap all the unfinished and/or never begun aspects of that entire mess. Second, let some local citizens and taxpayers decide whether any or all of those things are really necessary. Third, if they are, then generate some public interest, inform the public fully, and hold a new election, at the same time as general elections. But, let’s allow full citizen participation in the entire process. Oh, and by the way? Don’t be mealy mouthed and try to call a multi-purpose center an arena, mkay?
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How much have they spent on projects that aren’t completed yet?
As we have just seen in the latest caper about the “Cultural Center,” the bond allowed way too little for any decent center (if they had checked with Albuquerque, they’d easily have discovered that something short of $6 million did not match up with the over $40 million spent on that Hispanic Cultural Center)….and the current effort by a private group to raise more money is pretty much dead in the water. So what now? How about using some of the inadequate $180 million for the “multipurpose performing arts and entertainment center,” aka “arena” for a first class cultural center, and axe the “arena.” And please don’t say that the vote created a contract with the city to build that “arena…” if so, then there was a contract to build a cultural center for $5.9 million and the city is already in default on that one…This is what you get when a totally non-transparent decision process is supported by a propaganda campaign run by private interests who expect to benefit from the projects voted on as a bundle.
If this is so important to Mexican Americans, why weren’t they able to raise the funds? While I agree there are a lot of folks struggling to make ends meet, there are also some very wealthy Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in this part of the world, plus business focused on the Hispanic market who in theory could be motivated to ante up. To me it points to lack of real interest outside of the small group that wants to outspend Albuquerque. I agree with John Dungan, we really should revote on the remaining projects (perhaps a scaled back list) because A) the 17% of registered voters who actually voted yes on this were told it wouldn’t cost them anything and they are finding out differently now particularly since operating costs weren’t budgeted, B) the signature projects were underbudgeted and C) our city seems to have difficulty making all these projects happen in a short period of time.
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“tickedofftaxpayer” you are right on the mark with your above post. Since the ‘happy horse shit’ crowd can’t put money on the table, it’s good to see the city is now moving on. Also, thought John Durgan had an equally interesting post.
The important question that never gets asked: How much money has already been borrowed for projects that have never been completed or even started.? We’re paying interest on that money and getting nothing for it.
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50% of projects complete: https://youtu.be/foI1VxsFlbw?t=13m1s
Apparently QOL is alive and well for some.
Purchase agreements for properties where the city plans to build the multipurpose arena show the city paid nearly three times more than their assessed values, an El Paso Times analysis shows.
The city has agreed to pay nearly $11.6 million for 18 properties, although their total assessed value are listed at $4.4 million in El Paso Central Appraisal District records, the Times’ analysis shows.
That does not include the more than half a million dollars the city agreed to pay for relocation costs, the documents show.
Under the seller’s warranties, the contracts also stipulate that the property owners must not have sought or are not seeking designation of the property as a landmark or historic site.
Billy Abraham, 212 W. Overland Ave, $855,000 for that building, about $687,000 more than its appraised value.
Irma Salom, 325 Santa Fe St. ( Autobuses Los Paisonanos) nearly $1.3 million — about $1 million more than its appraised value
Alejandro Restrepo and Dr Roberto Assael, 215 W. Paisano Drive (former Tiradero Market), $2.1 million — or $1.2 million more than its assessed value. plus an additional $25,000 for relocation costs for that property.
And now we know one more reason why the city is so determined to build this structure in the oldest neighborhood in the city – property owners making out like bandits. How many of them are part of the Paso del Norte crowd?