EL CENTRO — With nearly $1 million for El Centro’s Aguilar Park improvements coming from Measure P revenue, the voter-approved half-cent tax, that could leave plans for a new library and police station in need of additional resources, officials said.
council gave the $2.3 million park project final approval at a Nov. 14 special
meeting. The funds included $526,000 from Measure P in the original project
allocation and another $460,000, again from Measure P, to make up for a
bridge included $130,000 moved from a Bucklin Park project that came in under
But in what
may be a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, there is concern dipping
too much into Measure P could affect larger projects, officials warned. Those
funds have been used for a number of park projects.
Tem Efrain Silva explained the initial cost projection for the proposed new
library and police station were underestimated. It is now known both projects
together will cost $60 million.
for the city to issue bonds along with Measure P to cover the library and
police station construction costs. As such, council members, city services
staff and Financial Director Richard Romero will meet to examine if the bonding
capacity of El Centro can afford these two projects, explained Council Member
Less on Measure P
The city is
trying to close the funding gap so it does not rely so heavily on Measure P,
compare it to buying a fully loaded new car with all the bells and
whistles,” said Viegas-Walker. “If the first car they show you is
beyond your means then you have to scale back.”
explained that is precisely what the council did with Aguilar Park by foregoing
rehabilitation of the basketball court.
once we know what the city’s bonding capacity is we can issue bonds for the
library and police station,” Viegas-Walker added. “The design team that drafted
plans included a number of high-end amenities. If we discover we only have $50
million then we’ll have to dial back on some of our goals.”
a similar view, saying, “My impression is we’ll go forward with the
library and police station. But the council must evaluate all possible
solutions because the city needs both. Ultimately, we must increase resources
or reduce costs since the city currently doesn’t have funding to fully cover
and police station funding solution are expected at a January council meeting,