El Paso

Email from former City Rep. factored into Council's hesitation over 25 flat fields for Central EP

City council holds off on field vote

El Paso, TX - On Tuesday, El Paso City council postponed a vote regarding a plan to create 25 new sports fields in Central El Paso.

ABC-7 has learned part of the hesitation stems from an email sent by a former city representative and current EPISD board member Susie Byrd.

The email to Council urged it to reject a plan for the fields from city staff because two of the fields would not be located within the Central El Paso planning area. Byrd was the representative who wrote a memo to council asking it to consider creating several soccer fields using funds from the 2012 quality of life bond. In her memo, Byrd asked that the fields be built within the central planning area.

Two potential locations for the fields unveiled Monday, the Alameda Recreation Center and Modesto Gomez Park, are located just outside Central El Paso.

"Legal (the City's legal team) has been willing to -- because it only says central area -- to interpret that more largely," Byrd told ABC-7, "But I believe Council really ought to honor the initial intent and make sure that they're not building soccer fields outside of that."

A 2012 ordinance, which details the bond projects, states the fields will be located in "Central" El Paso, but it didn't specify the City's designated "central planning area."

Byrd says she will also speak to the EPISD board of trustees to see if the district would be willing to lease some of its land in that area below market value.

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