EL PASO, Texas -

A special El Paso City Council meeting scheduled to consider additional funding requests for projects instead turned into a financial accountability session.

El Paso city representatives want to know exactly how much money the city has set aside in its rainy day fund.

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said the city has enough money to operate without additional revenue for about 30 days.

The staff is now working on getting an exact amount of the fund for representatives and looking into what it would take to extend the time frame to 45 or even 60 days.

Council members postponed any funding requests, until they find out exactly how much money is in the reserve fund.

"We can't start spending money when we don't have it," city Rep. Emma Acosta said.

Robert Cortinas is with the city's Office of Management and Budget. He confirmed the City Council approved taking  $5.9 million out of the savings account earlier this year.

"They approved us using the money for items they approved back in February or March.  It went toward West Side pool. Some additional funding went toward spray parks. We set aside $2 million to replace our degraded playgrounds and a couple of facility repairs.  And that's where the $5.9 million came from," Cortinas said.
It was Acosta who brought up the idea of replenishing the rainy day fund before spending any potential year-end savings.

"When we used the $5.9 , I don't think we had a clear understanding of how much fund balance we had at that time," Acosta said.

Acosta said a healthy reserve will save taxpayers money.

"Whenever you go out and you sell bonds, the financiers look at that, the investors look at that. How healthy is this fund? How healthy is the city?  So, the more days you have of fund balance,  or the higher your fund balance is, the better rates you get," Acosta said.
Gonzalez said the city has been working to replenish the rainy day fund.  And according to officials, there is no particular benchmark amount a city should have in reserve.