El Paso

City to hold public meeting on Paseo de las Luces project downtown

Paseo de las Luces

EL PASO,Texas - The City of El Paso is holding a public meeting on the Paseo de las Luces project. 

Officials said bright strings of lights will be placed on El Paso Street, near the international bridge, to San Antonio Avenue wand archways will be installed at the beginning and end of the corridor. 

The architecture firm in*situ has been contracted for the project, and plans include sidewalk improvements to El Paso Street, in addition to opening it to two-way traffic. 

The final community meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mills Building, 300 N. Oregon St. 

The Paseo de las Luces project is part of the Sun City Lights initiative, which is designed to revitalize historic corridors, and boost the economy. 

In August, City Council approved $4.1 million in certificates of obligation, debt not approved by voters, to pay for the project. That amount breaks down to $2.5 million coming from revenue collected from Saturday parking meters and $1.56 million from revenue collected at the bridges.

City officials said the original projection of revenue from Saturday parking turned out to be too high, with funds actually collected being lower than anticipated. That is why they asked for the additional $2.3 million from the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 5 unanimously voted to have an additional $2.3 million in debt be financed by the TIRZ fund. 

It  will be paying $210,000 a year until 2036. Because of interest collected from paying off the debt, that makes the total cost of the project $7.9 million.

Council hopes the "Paseo de las Luces"  project on El Paso Street will become a "sister city" project with Juarez. El Paso Street leads to an international port of entry and the hope is Juarez will adorn the street on its side of the border, Avenida Juarez, with similar lighting. 

Construction on the $6.4 million project is expected to be completed October 31, 2018.

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