EL PASO, Texas - City of El Paso staff and the group advocating to protect the Lost Dog Trail met for the first time Monday to try to figure out what happens next.
You may recall the group promoting the protection of the trail, along with 1,000 acres of land inside the city-created tax increment reinvestment zone in the city's northwest, won voter approval for protection in perpetuity.
ABC-7 tried attending that initial meeting between the city and the group of preservationists. But no sooner did a reporter and photographer walk into the meeting, they were asked to leave. City staff said they wanted to have the initial meeting without the glare of cameras.
When the group emerged, ABC-7 learned it's likely the tax increment reinvestment zone may be disbanded. But that would have to be approved by city leaders.
There is still the question whether or not the city will have to pay a public service board $11.3 million dollars for the more than 1,000 acres of land in the northwest.
“We think in the interim to show good faith, to make people feel a lot more comfortable, the petitioners, the voters, everyone who came out to decide to save this, that maybe the best thing to do was place the property in escrow and immediately remove it,” said Rick Bonart, who heads the preservationist group.
City staff says more discussion over the future of the land in question will be held before recommendations are made to city leaders.