More Than They Can Chew

In October of this year the City of El Paso released the results of the report on the Capital Improvement Department (you can read the report here). The report stated that the passage of the Quality of Life Bond and the Bond for street infrastructure increased the number and the complexity of projects expected to be completed by the department. “Areas of concern include the following: Planning and scheduling of projects, how project budgets are established, and how project scopes are established.” (http://www.elpasotexas.gov/news/2015/10/19/city-of-el-paso-releases-evaluation-report-of-capital-improvement-department).  Basically, they are having a hard time figuring out what the project should be, establishing what the project should cost and figuring out how long the project should take.  Of course, this can’t come as surprise to anyone who has been following the San Jacinto Plaza renovations (a project that was included in the 2012 Quality of Life Bond).  The project is so far behind schedule, the city has given up announcing an end-date and construction costs are adding up with no end in sight (http://www.kvia.com/news/Why-San-Jacinto-Plaza-s-renovation-is-months-behind-schedule/32882076).

If they are unable to define a scope, timeline and budget for a project, how did the city determine how much money should be included in the bond?  Did they just throw a number in the air and hope that we didn’t notice when projects started running over budget?

Until they can prove to be fiscally responsible with the tax payer money we’ve already given them, they shouldn’t get any more bond money.  Too bad we can’t ask for a refund.

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