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Home | Tag Archives: city of el paso (page 4)

Tag Archives: city of el paso

City Provides Update on Mexican American Cultural Center Project

A fundraising strategy study commissioned by the City of El Paso to support the success of the fundraising effort for the proposed Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and to create benchmarks for the project is complete.

The MACC is a one of three signature bond projects overwhelming approved by voters in 2012. The site for the center, the Abraham Chavez Theater, was approved by City Council in January 2016, at the recommendation of a subcommittee of the City’s Bond Oversight Advisory Committee (BOAC).

The original voter-approved budget for the project was $5.75 million.  The estimated cost, as of two years ago, to establish the MACC at the Abraham Chavez site was $34.6 million.

Council then accepted the site recommendation, contingent on the successful raise of pledged support in the amount of $20 million, made by the private sector group, Mexican-American Cultural Institute (MACI), which is comprised of some members of the Council-approved bond subcommittee for the project.

The fundraising strategy study findings were shared with City Council in executive session on September 19, 2017. The MACI leadership was provided with the study findings, two days later.

City staff and the study consultants, Lee + Associates, will meet MACI in October to review the findings.


In March 2015, at the direction of City Council a subcommittee of the Bond Oversight Committee (BOAC) was formed. The subcommittee was originally known as the Hispanic Cultural Center Subcommittee (HCC) and was later renamed the Mexican American Cultural Center Subcommittee (MACC).

The subcommittee was composed of 18 members (two appointees by Mayor and two appointees by each member of Council).   The subcommittee received administrative support from City Staff and met regularly in order to provide to Council recommendations on the following:

  • Size of the Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Appropriate budget for the construction of the Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Resources for enhancing existing budget
  • Facility program and amenities
  • Types of services to be offered within the Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Recommendations regarding funding opportunities
  • Recommendations regarding public/private partnerships
  • Means for fundraising
  • Recommendation regarding the name of the Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Recommendation regarding the general location of the Center

In October 2015, the subcommittee reported to Council on its final recommendations.  Council accepted all recommendations made by the subcommittee including the site recommendation of the Abraham Chavez Theatre and the name, Mexican American Cultural Center.  Council also directed City staff to complete a Programmatic Study exploring how to make this site work for the proposed project.  Study results were to be presented to Council in no more than 120 days from date assigned.

In order to provide focused, subject matter expertise and quality results in support of the project, two consultant groups, Quintanilla Schmidt Consulting and Carl Daniel/Franco/Saldana Architects, were commissioned to work together to develop the study.

In January 2016, the Programmatic Study exploring the Abraham Chavez Theatre as the site for the cultural center was presented to Council. The original voter-approved budget for the project was $5.75 million.  The cost to establish the cultural center at the Abraham Chavez site was $34.6 million.

Council accepted the site recommendation, contingent on the successful raise of pledged support in the amount of $20 million, made by the private sector group, Mexican-American Cultural Institute.

MACI, whose membership included nine of the eighteen members who also served on the Council-appointed bond subcommittee, had previously stepped forward, fully advocating for the location of the MACC at the Chavez Theatre site.

The group also expressed its desire to partner with the City in a public-private partnership in order to realize the creation of the cultural center at the Chavez Theatre site, including a pledge to raise $20 million in additional funding needed to meet the costs of the conversion of the site.

Council-then also directed:

  • City staff to transition work on the Project from the MACC Subcommittee to MACI, once MACI was formally incorporated as a non-profit.
  • City staff to create benchmarks to align $20 million MACI fundraising pledge with the MACC project development.

Following Council direction and in order to support the success of the fundraising effort, a fundraising strategy study was commissioned.  Consultants, Lee + Associates, were contracted to provide subject matter expertise to develop the study.

In January 2017, the consultancy contract was approved by Council.

In September 18, 2017, the consultants, presented the study findings to BOAC, and they presented them to Council the following day. Both presentations were made in executive session. MACI received the presentation via email on September 20, 2017, and were also provided access to hard copies of the full report on that day.  The next day, the MACI leadership collected the hard copies of the full report.

In October 2017, City staff and study consultants will meet with MACI board members to review the study findings.

City Officials Tout Partnerships, Investments in Downtown Redevelopment, Preservation

The City of El Paso invites the public to take a closer look at Downtown to see how strategic investments are preserving its historic buildings and spurring private development.

“The City of El Paso is being strategic about the projects we are pursuing for the downtown area,” Mayor Dee Margo said. “The current influx of downtown projects has created additional opportunities that the City can capitalize on to create new jobs and increase the quality of life throughout our community.”

Renovation of these six historic buildings represent approximately $191 million in private investment and a commitment of more than $61 million in total incentives.

More than $250 million in public and private funds have been invested since 2013 in the restoration of historic structures and the economic revitalization of Downtown. The City has been actively involved in the majority of the restoration projects through partnerships that provide tax incentives.

Historic renovation projects include the: Martin Building, Bassett Tower, Banner Building, Stanton Boutique Hotel, Paso Del Norte Hotel (formerly the Camino Real Hotel), and most recently the iconic Plaza Hotel. These six buildings are found on the National Register of Historic Places and five of them were designed by Henry C. Trost.


Overall, the City has incentivized a total 21 projects in the downtown area since 2013; a dozen that have been completed, six that are under construction, and three more that are under development. The total private investment in these projects is nearly $307 million and represent more than $87 million in local and state incentives.

The 12 completed development projects represent more than $35.9 million in private investment. A few of the larger projects include: the Hotel Indigo completed in 2016; the Martin Building and Annex completed in 2016; and the Campbell Apartments completed in 2017.

The renewed enthusiasm for reinvesting in downtown has resulted in restoration of the Anson Mills Building, using federal tax credits obtained by the developer. Three more proposed downtown development projects representing more than $154 million are in the works. They include: the WestStar Tower expected to be completed in 2020; the Plaza Hotel expected to be completed in 2020; and the Banner Building expected to be completed in 2021.

“Our partnership with the State of Texas and private developers is pivotal to the success of our downtown revitalization and our ability to deliver on our goal to create an environment conducive to strong sustainable economic development,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said. “The partnerships are the reason the majority of these historic preservation projects are under way.”

The City will continue its concentrated efforts to work with partners to increase the appeal of Downtown El Paso to people of all ages.

“Downtown is a place where we want people to live, work, play and visit. Our goal is to make Downtown El Paso a major focal point of the city while at the same time preserving our history and promoting our culture,” Cary Westin, City of El Paso Deputy City Manager, said.

City: Crews Working Extended Hours to Repair Potholes Caused by Summer Rains

The City of El Paso Streets and Maintenance Department has far exceeded the number of potholes repaired this year compared to all of fiscal year 2017.

As of last week, crews had repaired 44,030 potholes, which is 16,559 more repairs than the 27,371 fixed in all of the previous fiscal year. The higher volume of repairs is the result of the recent summer rains and other weather events.

Crews have been working six days week this summer to eradicate potholes that developed from rainstorms.

The City is filling more potholes than ever before thanks to a new process that streamlined operations by embracing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles. Prior to implementing LSS principles pothole repair crews conducted repairs based on public service requests.

Today, crews are assigned to smaller geographic areas and repairs are scheduled based on a geographic focus. These changes have reduced the time workers spend driving to their next repair and has improved time management, efficiency, and increased the number of potholes repaired.

On average, service requests are closed out within a couple weeks.

To report a pothole, click HERE.

City’s Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing Department Honored

The City of El Paso is pleased to announce that the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing Department received the ProcureCon EPIC “Innovator of the Year Award” for its EP MarketPlace.

The EP MarketPlace is a City web-based platform that allows employees to shop for goods and services in a way similar to shopping on Amazon or eBay.

Since September 2014, EP MarketPlace has reduced the cost for purchase orders by more than $485,000.

ProcureCon Indirect promotes continuous improvement and training for procurement professionals in the achievement level of proficiency. Their innovative processes are noteworthy within the industry.

City Helps 50+ Homeless Veterans find Permanent Housing

56 veterans who once were homeless now have permanent housing.

The update was provided Tuesday to City Council as part of a presentation by the City of El Paso’s Military Affairs Liaison Dwayne Williams.

“Veterans have risked their lives for us. We owe them our respect and every opportunity possible to help them live comfortably,” Mayor Dee Margo said.

Williams, who joined the City in March 2017, participates in bi-weekly meetings with the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless and partners on “Veterans Functional Zero.” The coordination has helped place 56 veterans in permanent housing within the last 90 days.

“We are making great strides in building partnerships necessary to provide a support system for our veterans,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.

Since Williams came on board, the City has established and strengthened its relationships with various groups to include the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board, the El Paso Veterans Treatment Court, Armed Forces Chamber Sub-Committees, and Veterans Functional Zero.

Other City initiatives for veterans include:

  • Veteran Resources Website – The informative website provides valuable information in a centralized location to help veterans and their families better find resources and services. It features information on education, training, employment, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, transportation, and housing.
  • Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee – This committee was formed to serve as a source of information related to the status, resources and services available within El Paso to the City’s large veteran population. In addition, the committee is asked to evaluate and recommend programs, policies and practices designed to alleviate veterans’ difficulties in meeting basic needs related to transportation, housing, employment and other areas affecting veterans.
  • Annual Veteran City Employee Luncheon – Knowing that veterans are living and working all around us, the City of El Paso started a new tradition, a Veterans Day Luncheon for its more than 600 employees who are proud veterans. This luncheon allows City leaders to thank our veterans not only for their service to El Paso, but also for their service to our Country. It will mark its third year in November.
  • Veteran Employment Incentive – In 2015, the City introduced an economic development incentive policy which includes a bonus rebate (property or sales tax) for companies that actively employ veterans (15% of their workforce) and establish a formal veteran hiring program.

City, Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority Partner for Kern Place Project

A project that will improve street and pedestrian safety, and highlight the entrance to one of the City’s most iconic corridors and neighborhoods got a jumpstart Tuesday.

City Council voted to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority for the management and construction of a pedestrian improvements project on the Westside near the University of Texas at El Paso.

The project includes the construction of the signature Sun City Lights archway in Kern Place.

The approximate $2.8 million project aims to create new economic development opportunities by combining public art, urban design, and neighborhood revitalization strategies. Construction is expected to begin next month and finish by the end of the year.

The project scope includes street reconstruction, resurfacing, increased parking, sidewalk reconstruction and widening, traffic calming, street lighting and landscaping along the portion of Cincinnati and Glory Road/Baltimore streets located between Oregon and Stanton.

This project is part of the City’s efforts to promote the visual image of El Paso and enhance quality of life through recreational, cultural and educational environments.

The project is funded by certificates of obligation.

2nd Annual Accessibility Summit To Be Held Wednesday

The Workforce Solutions Borderplex, along with El Paso Community College, City of El Paso, and Texas Workforce Solutions are hosting their 2nd Annual Accessibility Summit Wednesday at EPCC’s offices in East-Central El Paso.

Local business owners, managers, human resources and administrative personnel will benefit from this event which provides information on assistance technology, company benefits, resources regarding accommodations, and gain access to motivated employees.

For more information about the summit call Workforce Solutions Borderplex Business Services at 915-887-2332 or email them at

Where: El Paso Community College, 9050 Viscount Blvd., Building A (behind Fountains at Farah)

Employer Workshops from 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m.
Employer Lunch and Setup from 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
Job Fair from 12:00p.m. to 3:30p.m.


City Set to Begin 2018 Budget Sessions Monday

The City of El Paso will begin the Fiscal Year 2018 budget sessions on Monday, July 10, 2017, in the second floor Main Conference Room of City Hall located at 300 N. Campbell.

All budget sessions will be broadcast live on City TV (Spectrum 15.2, U-Verse 99, and for non-cable/non-satellite subscribers {regular TV} DTV 13.4), streamed live on the City’s website at, and will be re-broadcast at6:00 p.m. on City TV.

The dates and times are as follows:

  • Monday, July 10, 2017 (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)*
    • City Manager Overview
    • Goal 1 – Economic Development (Airport, Bridges, Economic Development, Destination El Paso)
    • Goal 2 – Public Safety (Police and Fire)
    • Goal 3 – Visual Image (Planning & Inspections)
    • Goal 4 – Quality of Life (Library, Museums, Parks, Zoo)
  • Tuesday, July 11 (To begin at conclusion of Regular City Council Meeting)*
    • Goal 5 – Communication (IT)
    • Goal 6 – Sound Governance (City Attorney, City Manager, HR, Mayor/Council, Municipal Clerk, Non-Dept., Comptroller, Purchasing, Tax)
    • Goal 7 – Infrastructure (CID, Sun Metro, Streets and Maintenance)
    • Goal 8 – Healthy Community (Environmental Services, Animal Services, Community Development, Public Health)
  • Wednesday, July 12 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm)
    • Only if necessary
  • Thursday, July 13 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm)
    • Only if necessary
  • Monday, July 31 (9:00 am)
    • Review of certified appraisal tax roll and introduction of tax rate ordinance
  • Tuesday, August 8 (8:00 am)
    • 1st public hearing on tax rate and budget public hearing
  • Tuesday, August 15 (8:00 am)
    • 2nd public hearing on tax rate
  • Tuesday, August 22 (8:00 am)
    • Adoption of budget and tax rate

City to Hold Meetings on 3 New Rec Centers

The City of El Paso’s Capital Improvement Department has scheduled three community meetings to garner public input on three new community recreation centers that are entering the design phase.

The facilities are funded by 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program, and have an approximate total budget of $33,000,000 which includes land acquisitions, project management, design, construction and public art.

The centers will be constructed at the following locations: 

Chamizal Community Center, 2119 Cypress Avenue

Alameda Community Center, 7380 Alameda Avenue

Lomaland Community Center 709 Lomita Drive (Lomaland Park)

The Chamizal and Alameda Community Centers will include a library combo component, which will allow the public to drop off, pick up and order books, as well as utilize other library resources such as computers.

All three projects are part of the City of El Paso’s commitment to enhance the quality of life for business, residents and visitors.

rec ctrs

Grand Opening Celebration of Marty Robbins Spray Park Set for Saturday

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department invites families for an official grand opening celebration of the Marty Robbins Spray Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at 11600 Vista Del Sol.

The grand opening celebration of the City’s newest spray park will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a family-friendly celebration that includes free games, live music, educational booths and free food.

The Marty Robbins Spray Park features a splash pad with a large dump bucket and more than 20 water features such as spouts and fountains. The spray park has other amenities such as a shaded area, picnic tables, security lighting, security cameras, ADA accessible sidewalks and landscaping.

The Marty Robbins Spray Park is the sixth spray park completed by the City, costing approximately $977,000. Funding for the project came from end of year savings.

The spray parks operate by recirculating water through filtration and chemical sanitation systems, not unlike those found in pools. The typical water turnover is 30 to 60 minutes, which is the same for most wading pools. Customers control the water usage by depressing a button or passing near motion detectors. If there is no one playing in an area, then no water flows.

Additional spray parks are under construction throughout the City, one in each of the City Representative Districts. The City recently opened Westside Spray Park, Grandview Spray Park and Pavo Real Spray Park; Sue Young Spray Park and Hidden Valley Spray Park opened in 2016. The following spray parks will open just in time for summer:

· Braden Aboud Spray Park, 4325 Riverbend Dr.
· Salvador Rivas Jr. Spray Park, 12480 Pebble Hills Dr.

The spray park projects are part of the City of El Paso’s commitment to enhance El Paso’s quality of life through recreational, cultural and educational environments.

Community Meeting for Downtown Wayfinding Kiosks Project Wednesday Night

The City of El Paso’s Capital Improvement Department has scheduled a community meeting to inform the public of the Downtown Wayfinding Phase II project.

This project includes the installation of 13 Wayfinding Kiosks to enhance the pedestrian experience in the City’s downtown shopping, entertainment and cultural districts.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in the Main Library located at 501 N. Oregon Street

The kiosks will be installed at the following locations.

  1. Main and Campbell (SW Corner)
  2. Main and Mesa (NE Corner)
  3. Franklin and Mesa (SE Corner)
  4. Oregon and Missouri (SW Corner)
  5. Franklin and Durango (SW Corner)-Solar
  6. Anthony and San Francisco (SW Corner)
  7. Anthony and San Antonio (NE Corner)
  8. San Antonio and Durango (NE Corner)-Solar
  9. San Antonio and Santa Fe (NW Corner)
  10. El Paso and San Antonio (NW Corner)
  11. Overland and El Paso (NE Corner)-Solar
  12. Stanton and Texas (NE Corner)
  13. El Paso and Sixth (NW Corner)

At the meeting, City staff will be on hand to answer any questions, listen to input, and take suggestions the public may have regarding the project.

This project with an approximate budget of $460,000 is part of the City of El Paso’s commitment to enhance El Paso’s regional comprehensive transportation system.

City: Enrollment Open for Moving Event Sponsorship Program

The City of El Paso’s Office of Special Events is now accepting applications for the Moving Event Sponsorship Program, with enrollment remaining open throughout the month of May.

The sponsorship program helps fund moving events such as races, walks, parades, bicycle and motorcycle events which require traffic control from the El Paso Police Department or Street and Maintenance services.

The program helps applicants cover City related costs with in-kind sponsorship.

The enrollment period will close on May 31, 2017. Funding for fiscal year 2018 will cover events happening during September 1, 2017, to August 31, 2018.

This year the program has new guidelines, event categories, and applications. In addition, the program is now accepting applications from profit and non-profit events. Applicants must submit a complete application along with all the required documentation before the deadline in order to be considered for funding.

For additional information call the office of Special Events at (915) 212-1506. To obtain the applications Click HERE.

Health Foundation Seeks Public Input on the Playa Drain Trail

Earlier this year, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) announced a partnership with the City of El Paso and El Paso Water to build a linear trail on the Playa Drain from Ascarate Park to Riverside High School.  Now, officials with PDNHF want to meet with the public to discuss and share ideas about the project.

Tracy J. Yellen, CEO, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, says , “The Playa Drain Trail will offer opportunities for recreation and physical activity (walking/biking) for use by residents throughout the region and as an alternative to driving for near-by residents, and is part of the Health Foundation’s commitment to making active living the easy choice in our region.”

The Playa Drain Trail project is possible because of the creativity and collaboration of multiple entities committed to improving quality of life in the region. El Paso Water purchased the Playa Drain from the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 (Improvement District) in 2014 for $2.75 million to become part of the storm water management system.

El Paso Water entered into an agreement with the City of El Paso to allow use of the Playa Drain for recreation, with the City committing to its maintenance.

The City also committed $300,000 for amenities on the trail as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Project. Finally, the Health Foundation Board approved up to $2,000,000 for design and construction for a 3.4 mile section with the goal of leveraging additional funds to convert the entire 8- mile stretch of the Playa Drain from Ascarate Park to Capistrano Park (just past Ysleta High School) into a safe, well-designed walking and biking trail.

Ultimately, the Health Foundation seeks to work with multiple partners like the City and County of El Paso to develop an ambitious, and potentially continuous, county-wide urban trail.

The Playa Drain is part of the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 Historic District, a large, narrow district that spans from Caballo Reservoir in New Mexico south along the Rio Grande, following the Franklin and Riverside canals and their associated laterals and drains.

According to the Improvement District, drains, like the nearly 100-year old Playa Drain, were developed to carry salty water that leached from the cotton fields during irrigation. The drains are characteristically deep, versus irrigation canals which are above ground, allowing water to flow through the soil and into the drains, removing the salt that can be harmful to farming.

For the Health Foundation, the conversion of the drain from its historical use to a storm water and recreation use helps the Health Foundation promote health in the region.

Foundation officials say that their research shows nearly 30% of adults in El Paso have reported no physical activity over the last 30 days. A sedentary life is often associated with poor health.

“We believe that well-designed trails that are close to neighborhoods and connected to other amenities like parks and schools will promote physical activity and make active living the easy choice for residents in our region,” says Yellen.

She adds, “We extend our sincere thanks to the Improvement District, El Paso Water and City of El Paso for their partnership on this project and look forward to working with residents in the neighborhoods around the Playa Drain and throughout the community to promote active living in our region.”

With the partnerships and funding in place for the Ascarate Park-Riverside High School portion of the Playa Drain Trail, the Health Foundation and partners turn their focus from visioning to design.

To that end, they are inviting the community to join them for the first set of public planning meetings to work on the trail design:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 6 p.m.

Riverside High School Cafeteria

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – 6 p.m.

Riverside High School Cafeteria

For more information, contact Tracy Yellen, Paso del Norte Health Foundation at or 915-544- 7636.

playa trail

Dept. of Health: Tuberculosis Testing Yields Positive Results at Local Adult Day Care Center

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has received preliminary results of 199 individuals tested during an investigation of a possible Tuberculosis (TB) exposure at a local senior day care center.

A total of 199 people were tested using blood samples, with 65 of those tests coming back positive for TB infection.

None of the people tested showed signs or reported symptoms of having active TB and further testing will be conducted as part of the investigation process to determine their status.

“While this is a relatively high rate of positivity, we must also consider, among other factors, that any elderly population will likely have higher positivity rates due to prior exposure so a positive test could be unrelated to this particular exposure event,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “What we want the attendees and the community at large to know is that there is a systematic process in place to ensure everyone’s safety.”

The next step in the investigation will be providing test results to those who were tested at the day care facility. Those who tested positive will then require further workup including physical evaluations by DPH TB nurses as well as chest x-rays. For those with no insurance or means to pay, the Department will arrange for them to obtain their chest x-ray at no cost to them. It is expected that completion of the x-ray phase of the investigation will take about two weeks.


Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease.

If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is NOT spread by

  • shaking someone’s hand
  • sharing food or drink
  • sharing toothbrushes
  • kissing
  • touching bed linens or toilet seats

When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, it can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain. TB disease in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.

People with TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers or schoolmates.

City, First Hartford Realty Corporation Join Forces for East El Paso Development

During Tuesday’s city council meeeting, members approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with First Hartford Realty Corporation related to the development of an entertainment and retail district located near Interstate 10 and Zaragoza in the city’s Mission Valley.

Via a news release, city officials say, “The City is confident that the creation of a mixed-use development consisting of destination retail and entertainment will spur new economic development opportunities along this portion of the interstate, while also helping increase the city’s regional draw.”

The MOU acknowledges that the City and First Hartford will work jointly to identify and create a development that may include: retail, dining, hospitality and entertainment uses.

The memorandum also identifies the various infrastructure improvements which will need to be completed in order for the development to occur. And lastly, the MOU acknowledges that First Hartford will be seeking an incentive and development agreement from the City within one month.

The valuable 30 acre site in question currently sits unused and has been vacant for decades.

Photo courtesy Google Earth
Photo courtesy Google Earth
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