El Paso City Council is set to discuss picking a day to hold two special elections that may improve quality of life in the Sun City. During Tuesday's regular meeting at 9 a.m., city representatives may choose to hold that election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, which is Election Day.
On the ballot are two major issues. Residents could vote to approve a $473 million quality of life bond, as well as to increase the Hotel Occupancy Tax rate by 2 percent.
The bond would pay for improvements to the city's parks, museums and the zoo, among other things. The increase to the so-called "HOT" rate would pay for the creation of a baseball stadium in downtown El Paso.
The quality of life bond is broken into two sections, with $245 million paying for improvements in the form of shading, lighting and landscaping to a number of parks across El Paso. The El Paso Zoo would receive $50 million to improve and add to the Americas and Asian exhibits, which have remained virtually the same since the zoo opened in the 1950s. The newest exhibit with African animals would also see improvements. Pools, recreation centers and hiking trails would also be improved upon with funds from the bond.
The rest of the bond, which is more than $228 million, would pay for museum and library improvements and expansions. About $180 million is slated for a multipurpose cultural and performing arts facility, and more than $19 million is designated for a children's museum.
The Hotel Occupancy Tax rate, or the "HOT" rate as it's come to be called, would increase the cost to rent a room at a hotel or motel in the city by 2 percent, increasing it from 15.5 to 17.5 percent. That 2 percent increase would come out to an average of $1.40 extra per night to rent a room. The increased revenue would be funneled toward the construction of the AAA baseball stadium where City Hall currently stands.