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Home | Tag Archives: city of el paso (page 2)

Tag Archives: city of el paso

City Invites Public to Guide City Budget Priorities via Online Survey

The City is inviting residents and businesses to help guide the community’s priorities for the next fiscal year by participating in its annual “Chime In” survey.

“Engaging the public early on in the budget process is a best management practice and it allows us to make investments that align with priorities identified by the community and with the City’s vision of having safe and beautiful neighborhoods, a vibrant regional economy, and exceptional recreational, cultural and educational opportunities,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas said.

Through the survey citizens are able advise City leaders which services are most meaningful to them.

“The survey is one of many public input opportunities afforded to the community during the budget development process,” city officials added, “If you want to influence how the City of El Paso prioritizes projects and services for Fiscal Year 2020 here is your chance.”

Last year’s survey results indicated the public wanted a greater emphasis on streets, parks and public safety.

The survey is available on the homepage of the City’s website.

The deadline to participate in the online survey is April 20, 2019.

City Council Votes to Move Funds to Accelerate, Complete Promised Projects

On Monday, City Council approved a recommendation by the Capital Improvement Department to allow the reprogramming of remaining capital improvement funds to keep advancing planned improvements to parks, streets and public safety.

“Bottom line is we are being fiscally responsible,” Capital Improvement Department Director Sam Rodriguez said. “By actively managing the Capital Improvement Program we are able to identify savings and square project listings to ensure that we are maximizing our resources while rolling out public works projects in an efficient and expeditious manner.”

The reprogramming request presented to Council allows the department to fund the Edgemere and RC Poe roundabout project in far East El Paso completely, expedite $17.9 million in parks and library quality of life bond projects, meet funding needs of three neighborhood water parks, and renovate the Leo Cancellare pool in West El Paso.

The Edgemere and RC Poe roundabout is estimated to cost $2.4 million of which $1.5 million will come from the 2012 Streets Capital Improvement Plan.

The plan is on track to be completed by 2021 and calls for all remaining street reconstruction projects will start construction this year.

City officials say that the “advances the City has made over the past year in rolling out the bond program enables it to start the remaining park and library projects in 2020, some three years ahead of schedule.”

The City added the Leo Cancellare pool located adjacent to the Westside Natatorium to the capital project listing to extend the useful life of the pool built in the 1970s.

The renovation projected to cost approximately $2.8 million will allow the facility to better serve the community’s needs and serve as a critical companion to the Westside Natatorium 50-meter pool.

The neighborhood water parks began design in 2018 and their costs were adjusted during their design phase as a result of community input and other factors, such as increases to utility requirements.

The Leo Cancellare pool renovations and funding adjustments for the neighborhood water parks in Central, Northeast and Mission Valley are being met through the reallocation of City investment revenues, other project savings, and funding from the neighborhood water park in West El Paso.

The waterpark in West El Paso will remain programmed but unfunded until the City purchases land for the project.

The City has completed 90 bond projects approved by voters in 2012. Another 13 projects are under construction and 24 more are in design.

El Paso Featured in Alaska Airlines Travel Magazine

The City of El Paso continues to receive national attention, this time Alaska Airlines is introducing travelers to the wonders of the Sun City with a feature article in its in-flight magazine, Alaska Beyond.

“We all know El Paso has so much to offer from our 300 days of sunshine to our cultural amenities including the museums and our historic sites,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) Director Tracey Jerome. “We are excited to welcome travelers to the Sun City.”

The five-page article titled “Historical El Paso,” explores the city as a cultural center and offers visitors suggestions on places to go, where to eat and what souvenirs to take home.

In addition, the article highlights the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of History as well as the Hueco Tanks State Park.

According to a recent economic impact study by Americans for the Arts; arts and culture related tourism have a $103.4 million annual impact to the regional economy.

This includes a $1.8 million impact on local hotels and 4,193 full-time jobs.

Alaska Airlines will begin daily nonstop service from Seattle and San Diego to El Paso on February 19.

Alaska Airlines is the fifth-largest U.S. airline based on passenger traffic and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Alaska Air Group serves 115 destinations with 1,200 daily departures in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. Major hubs include Seattle, Anchorage, L.A., San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.

The “Historical El Paso” article is on page 102 of Alaska Beyond and may be seen online here.

El Paso Housing Market Recognized as “One of the Most Affordable” in Nation

On Wednesday, officials with the City of El Paso announced that the city has received national attention for its affordable housing market by two national organizations: and MSNBC.

“The recognition of our strong and affordable housing market shows the economic growth of our city and how El Paso continues to move forward as an attractive place to live and work,” said Cary Westin, Deputy City Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.

An article written by the economic team at, “The 10 Surprising Housing Markets Poised to Rule in 2019,” listed El Paso as the third best metropolitan area for affordable homes in the country.

The study highlights El Paso’s low cost of living, a boom in construction and new housing subdivisions, along with Fort Bliss, as reasons for a thriving and affordable housing market.

El Paso is the only city in Texas to make the top ten list. Other cities include Phoenix, Las Vegas and Miami.

In an MSNBC article titled “Americans flock to where they can buy a home on a $60,000 salary,” El Paso ranked fourth on the top ten list.

El Paso came in the top 10 because of its average price of a home ($158,200) and the amount of down payment required to purchase a home on a $60,000 salary or less.

Other cities that made the top ten list include Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City.

Both articles looked at cities that are flourishing with job growth and increased business, affordable housing as well as an abundance of places to live.

City of El Paso Appoints New Director for International Bridges Department

The City of El Paso is pleased to announce the appointment of David Coronado, as Director of the International Bridges Department. His appointment is effective immediately.

“The economic growth of El Paso and our region is heavily dependent on our binational community.  Commencing in 2015, the City has taken a new approach in the management of our international bridges to expand those economic opportunities as well as to enhance the border crossing experience,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

Part of that approach was the development of a Bridges Steering Committee (BSC) dedicated to bridge infrastructure and inspection processing improvements at ports of entry in the El Paso region by applying Lean Six Sigma methodologies and techniques.

This new collaborative, comprised of over 20 binational regulatory agencies, business groups and other stakeholders, created a venue for all affected agencies to work together on issues negatively impacting the city’s ports.

As a result of these efforts, the BSC identified over 50 projects needed to address needs in the commercial cargo environment at the region’s ports of entry; several projects are either underway or have been completed.

Additionally, in the summer of 2017, the City of El Paso was allocated $32 million in state transportation funding, which will help provide financial resources needed to develop and construct several of these projects.

“David Coronado’s extensive experience in research and data analysis made him instrumental in the development and coordination of the International Bridges Steering Committee,” Managing Director of Aviation and International Bridges Monica Lombrana said.

As director, Coronado will continue to have a profound impact on the department’s direction by administering the department’s multi-million capital improvement plan, which he helped develop. The plan is the first comprehensive program ever created and adopted to address the infrastructure needs of the city-owned international bridges.

Coronado has been with the City of El Paso since March 2010, having worked in multiple capacities in the Departments of Planning and Inspections and International Bridges.

Most recently he served as an Assistant Director for International Bridges. He earned a Masters of Public Administration in Economic Development and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a certified member of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners, and is an accredited member of the Congress for New Urbanism. He is also a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Eaton to Open Manufacturing Operation in El Paso

Wednesday morning, officials with the Borderplex Alliance, The City of El Paso, and The County of El Paso announced that Eaton, a worldwide power management company, is opening a manufacturing operation in El Paso.

Dee Margo, Mayor, City of El Paso, said, “Eaton Corporation will be an exceptional addition to our local business community. In addition to creating 200 jobs, Eaton will invest over $15 million dollars into our regional economy. Our economic development strategy is in full effect and we are seeing result after result. Companies are recognizing El Paso as a premier place to work, play and visit. We must continue our progress and attract more jobs, more investment, and better opportunities for the people of El Paso.”

According to officials, the new plant will bring over 200 jobs to the region.

Mike Yelton, Senior Vice President – Electrical Sector, Eaton, said, “We’re excited to grow our presence in El Paso. We look forward to working with leaders and future employees in the community to deliver high quality electrical distribution equipment to our customers. Borderplex Alliance and the City and County of El Paso have been great partners, and we appreciate their support of Eaton.”

Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power.  The company has approximately 98,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.

Ruben John Vogt, El Paso County Judge, said, “Eaton’s innovative approach to creating power management technologies brings to El Paso yet another diverse company that is building on our growing business portfolio.  The fact that they’ve acquired a property signals their commitment to being partners in our community for years to come; their investment, coupled with the quality jobs they bring, are a clear sign that El Paso is a competitive and desirable place to do business.  We look forward to sharing Eaton’s successful establishment in El Paso with other companies looking to relocate/expand into El Paso.”

Jon Barela, CEO, The Borderplex Alliance said, “We’re thrilled to announce another world-class company is adding new operations in the region and continuing our community’s forward momentum. This announcement is further proof that the Borderplex region is a premier destination for manufacturing and business expansion. My sincerest thanks to Mayor Margo and County Judge Vogt for their leadership and focus on business-friendly policies that improve our community.”

IEDC Awards City ‘Silver Award’ for Regional Economic Development Strategy

The City of El Paso’s Economic and International Development Department received a Silver Award for Regionalism and Cross-border Collaboration from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest organization of professional economic developers.

“El Paso has always been a leader in promoting regionalism and collaboration. Not only is this because of our geographic proximity to Mexico and New Mexico, we also have a leadership and staff that focuses on supporting and building relationships with all our regional allies,” said Jessica Herrera, Director of Economic and International Development.

The award recognizes a City for innovative approaches to regionalism and other forms of cross-border cooperation across a city, county, state, and internationally. The City of El Paso was honored for its strategy and efforts to create a world-class medical center at the Medical Center of the Americas (MCA).

“Our goal at the MCA is to create a regional biomedical industry that will foster and accelerate innovation, create new employment opportunities and meet the healthcare needs for the entire Paso Del Norte region,” Herrera said.

Eddie Garcia, Assistant Director of the Economic and International Department, accepted the award at IEDC’s Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on October 3, 2018.

While at the conference, Garcia passed a certification test making him the first Certified Economic Developer in the City of El Paso.

New Franchise Fee for Electric Bills Starts October 2018

In March of 2018, the City of El Paso and El Paso Electric (EPE), came to an agreement to increase the City of El Paso franchise fee to electric bills for residents and businesses within El Paso city limits.

The one percent increase will begin October 1, 2018, and will be reflected on bills as a separate line item.

El Paso Electric (EPE) officials say “a federal tax rate reduction and a decrease in fuel costs, will offset the increase.”

Via a news release, officials added:

In April of 2018, EPE began providing a credit to customers due to the federal tax rate reduction passed in December of 2017. As a result, a typical residential customer in Texas using an average of 635 kilowatt hours of energy per month began to see an average monthly bill decrease of $3.83, or 4.5%. Additionally, EPE filed to reduce the Texas Fuel Factor charge by approximately 29.1%, a decrease reflected in customer bills since May 2018.

The City of El Paso franchise agreement was last changed in 2010. The agreement specified that EPE would pay to the City of El Paso, on a quarterly basis, a fee of 4% of the gross revenues EPE receives from its customers within the city limits.

“EPE operates under franchise agreements with several cities in its service area that enable the utility to use public rights-of-way necessary to serve its customers…these agreements provide EPE access to the electric infrastructure in city alleyways and street corridors, which provide and maintain service to customers,” company officials said.

City: $1M in CDBG Funding Available for Neighborhood Improvements in Districts 3, 5

The City of El Paso announced on Thursday that they will allocate $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to improve low-and moderate-income neighborhoods in Districts 3 and 5.

Each targeted district will receive $500,000 for needed improvements in their neighborhoods.

Via a news release, city officials stated, “CDBG’s main purpose is to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities to low- and moderate-income residents. CDBG funds have such a positive impact in El Paso’s neighborhoods not only with improvements but by building a sense of community pride.”

Proposed projects must be located in either District 3 or 5, be in a CDBG eligible area and benefit low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to be considered for funding.

CDBG funds can be used for a variety of projects including:

  • Neighborhood, Recreation and Senior Centers
  • Park Improvements
  • Small-Scale Green Infrastructure
  • Libraries
  • Walkability and Accessibility

The City will also receive approximately $2.6 million for large-scale citywide projects. More information on these projects can be found by clicking on the banner on the Community + Human Development webpage.

Citizen request forms can be downloaded at the website or picked up at any City facility located in Districts 3 or 5 (libraries, recreation and senior centers) or at the Community and Human Development located in City 3 at 801 Texas, 3rd Floor.

Deadline to submit a proposed project is 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 28.  For more information, call (915) 212-0138 or email

Philip Etiwe Selected as Director of Planning and Inspections

On Sunday, the City of El Paso announced the selection of Philip Etiwe as Director of Planning and Inspections.

“We are excited to welcome Philip to help lead a City department that plays a critical role in the advancement and growth of our community,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “Having previously worked for the City of El Paso, Philip will be able to hit the ground running to continue developing strategic and innovative solutions for our community.”

Most recently Mr. Etiwe worked as the Director of Community Development Services and Chief City Administrator for the City of South Fulton, Georgia, where he was responsible for creating and setting the foundation for Planning Services, Building Permits and Inspections, Engineering, Code Enforcement, Business Licenses, and The Geographic Information System (GIS).

As Chief City Administrator, he was responsible for assisting the Mayor by assigning priorities and objectives to city staff.

“Philip brings more than 28 years of private, public and non-profit experience that will greatly benefit the residents and businesses of the City of El Paso,” said Deputy City Manager Cary Westin. “He has in-depth knowledge on economic development, urban planning, downtown and neighborhood developments, and is proven to be successful in identifying service gaps and creating efficiencies.”

Members of the development community were a part of the interview panel and provided input on the selection of Mr. Etiwe.

Mr. Ray Adauto, Executive Vice President of the El Paso Association of Builders, said, “The community appreciates the opportunity to participate in the selection process and believes Mr. Etiwe is a great candidate for this important position.”

Mr. Etiwe graduated with a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and bachelor’s degree in Land Use Resources and Environment from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Etiwe’s new position is effective August 27, 2018.

City Snags $20,000 Competitive Grant Award

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund announced the City of El Paso will receive the $20,000 CityStart initiative planning grant to identify and plan for financial empowerment strategic priorities.

”The City of El Paso is committed to creating an environment supportive of financial stability for the most vulnerable in our community,” stated Director of Community + Human Development and Chief Resilience Officer Nicole Ferrini.

“Currently we are pursuing key actions that improve citizen access to basic services and increase availability of affordable housing while expanding both educational and economic opportunity. The CityStart initiative will help us help El Pasoans achieve their goals and realize their dreams.”

The City of El Paso, working with the CFE Fund, will construct and host a day-long municipal financial empowerment “boot camp” aimed at financially empowering residents.

Based on issues identified in the boot camp, El Paso will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint identifying actionable implementation steps.

“Cities control a host of policies, programs, and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Jonathan Mintz.

“Across the nation, more and more city leaders are embracing high-quality financial empowerment programs to improve the financial stability of their city residents and communities. We congratulate Mayor Dee Margo and look forward to working with him to empower El Paso residents, and we thank JPMorgan Chase for their longstanding commitment to and investment in municipal financial empowerment.”

The CityStart initiative, with support from JPMorgan Chase and others, offers mayors and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, organize stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies, and ultimately create a blueprint that includes local priorities and opportunities.

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive programmatic work with local government leaders in over 60 cities, connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities, and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable, and sustainable municipal strategies to improve families’ financial lives.

City Awarded $100K Grant to Support Growth of Local Minority-Owned Businesses

El Paso is one of five cities selected for this year’s expanded City Accelerator program, an initiative helping communities create jobs by growing their network of local minority-owned local businesses.

El Paso and other cities chosen to participate in the program by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities will receive a $100,000 grant and other services such as coaching, technical assistance, and implementation resources to advance entrepreneurial efforts aimed at growing locally minority-owned businesses.

Other cities selected for the program include Atlanta, Long Beach, Newark and Rochester.

“This grant presented a unique opportunity for the City to expand services that support our regional entrepreneurs,” said Jessica Herrera, Economic and International Development Director.

Throughout the next year, El Paso as part of this program will focus on expanding small business services offered through the El Paso Public Library.

“The El Paso Public Library System is a support mechanism within our community that aims to enhance economic and educational opportunities, especially for our minority population. El Paso has over 54,000 minority-owned local businesses and with the City Accelerator Program we will enhance and cultivate the business community to support regional entrepreneurial efforts,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

For additional information, please visit Governing Magazine, Citi’s blog to follow the progress of the City Accelerator participants.

Video+Story: El Paso a Finalist for $1m Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Project

Wednesday morning, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that the City of El Paso has been selected as a finalist to potentially receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art.

More than 200 cities applied, and El Paso, along with 13 other cities, has been invited to submit a full proposal.

In February, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues, and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.

Proposals address a range of pressing issues and social themes such as environmental sustainability, immigration, national disaster recovery, and cultural identity. Additionally, the proposals reflect a diverse use of artistic mediums including augmented reality, light installations, murals, and performances.

The City of El Paso proposed the development of “Border Tuner,” a large-scale, light and sound installation that highlights connections between El Paso in the U.S. and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

The piece by Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will provide a platform for a wide range of local voices and will be an opportunity to draw international attention to the complexity and interdependence between the sister-cities that create the largest bi-national metropolitan area in the western hemisphere.

The project will be a collaboration between the City of El Paso, the Rubin Center at The University of Texas El Paso, the El Paso Community Foundation, the Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte, Ciudad Juárez, and the state Government of Chihuahua.

“The project is an opportunity to involve citizens from both sides of the border in a celebration of our complex and long-standing history of collaboration, and to share that message of bi-national cooperation with a national and international audience,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will select at least three winners from 14 finalists in the fall to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters.

The grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.

The Public Art Challenge is a part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy. The Public Art Challenge allows mayors and artists to join forces to elevate the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues.

More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found online.

Council Approves $400k+ for Consulting Group to Help Develop Plan to Manage City’s Growth

On Tuesday, the City Council approved a contract with Stantec Consulting Services, who will assist city officials in developing a plan to provide the framework for managing growth citywide, particularly on the Eastside.

“El Paso is growing and meeting our growth challenges means we need to be ready to maintain and expand municipal services and infrastructure in a manner that addresses the needs of our citizens while making growth areas attractive to private development,” said City of El Paso Capital Improvement Director Sam Rodriguez.

“This plan will serve as a guide for managing future public investment to deter growth from happening haphazardly,” Rodriguez added.

Council approved awarding an approximate $413,000 contract to Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Via a news release, city officials shared, “The firm will provide the City with the tools and key policies needed to manage growth citywide and a masterplan for managing growth on the Eastside, the City’s fastest-growing region.”

The contract is funded through the City’s 2019 Capital Plan.

“Those who live, work and visit the Eastside have told us they want a network of streets that are safe and easy to navigate, more public safety services, walkable blocks, transit-oriented development, parks and open space serving local and regional needs, libraries, unique and memorable places, destination retail, and a mix of housing options for a range of incomes. This plan will provide us with the tools and key policies to achieve a sustainable roadmap to the future,” Mayor Pro-tem Michiel Noe said.

Development of the plan will take approximately 10 months, and officials say that, “the process will include an extensive public engagement process to ensure growth areas are developed in line with the community’s vision.”

City Schedules 2019 Budget Sessions Starting Monday, July 9th

The City of El Paso will begin the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget sessions on Monday, July 9, in the second floor Main Conference Room of City Hall located at 300 North Campbell.

All budget sessions will be broadcast live on City TV (U-Verse 99, Spectrum 1300, over the air 13.4, and online) and will be re-broadcast at 6:00 p.m. The meetings are also streamed live on the City’s website.

The meetings will be held:

  • Monday, July 9 – 9:00 a.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Tuesday, July 10 – 12:00 p.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Wednesday, July 11 – 9:00 a.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Thursday, July 12 – 9:00 a.m. (only if needed)

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Monday, July 30 – 9:00 a.m.

Special City Council meeting to review Certified Valuations and introduce FY 2019 Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 7 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – 1st Public Hearing on Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 14 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – 2nd Public Hearing on Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 21 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – Council adopts FY 2019 budget and tax rate


*Goal Presentations

Goal #1                  Economic Development, Airport, International Bridges, and Destination El Paso

Goal #3                  Planning and Inspections

Goal #2                  Fire, Municipal Court, and Police

Goal #4                  Library, Museums & Cultural Affairs, Parks & Recreation, and Zoo

Goal #5                  Information Technology

Goal #6                  City Attorney, City Manager, Human Resources, Mayor & Council, Municipal Clerk, Non-departmental,                         Comptroller, Purchasing, and Tax Office

Goal #7                  Capital Improvements, Sun Metro, and Streets & Maintenance

Goal #8                  Animal Services, Community Development, Environmental Services, and Public Health

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