Help Save El Paso’s Open Space
Marilyn Guida always provides details when rallying the troops. Below is her message regarding tomorrow’s City Council meeting and the purchase of “Knapp Land” in NE El Paso:
“Dear Supporters of El Paso Open Space,
You have been a supporter of Save Our Sierras and Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition in the past. Judy Ackerman gave me your email. Our apologies for any duplications. You may be on more than one of our lists.
We have confirmation that the Mayor and City Council of El Paso will be hearing our item, 21.1, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 regarding purchase of privately-owned land along the slopes of the Franklin Mountains in the Northeast.
The first attachment is the information provided on the City Council Agenda regarding the privately-owned property. The second attachment is the complete text that goes before City Council for a vote. You can also find this for yourself at this link to the City of El Paso website:
The good news is that the City is proposing to purchase 280 acres for $3.5 M in 2012 Open Space bond funds and the owners are donating 72.41 acres appraised at $1.34 M. An additional 13.59 acres are being given to the city through the subdivision process.
So total open space acquired will be 280 + 72.41 + 13.59 = 366 acres. (all numbers approximate) – THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL UNTIL COUNCIL VOTES ON FEB. 6.
We are now up to 10 people who plan to attend the Feb. 6 council meeting. If we can get this number up it can only help the cause and impress the mayor, city council and city manager.
Please ask family members, friends, neighbors – anyone you know who supports our cause if they will join SOS on Feb 6 promptly at9:00 am at City Hall #1, City Council Chambers, first floor, 300 N. Campbell St. downtown. Really important – we do not know when exactly on Feb 6 this item will be heard. Be prepared to stay as long as necessary. If we get any further updates I will let you know.
Security Check at City Hall
As of this morning I learned that the City has increased security for everyone entering City Hall. You may have to sign-in and show an ID. Security will check your bags and you will pass through a metal detector. City Council chambers are through the first door to your right as you enter. You may not be able to visit any other offices without a badge which you would get at the front desk once you state who you want to see.
There are many options for parking. There is on-street metered parking which can be paid with credit card. If you are willing to walk a few blocks there is some unmetered parking. There are lots of parking garages downtown.
Link to parking options: http://downtownelpaso.com/dmd/parking/
I think the least expensive parking (short of free) is at 420 N. Campbell just north of City Hall between Main and Franklin, just two blocks from City Hall. There is a small driveway to your right just past the railroad overpass, so if you find yourself on I-10 you’ve gone too far. You really have to be careful as you pass City Hall #1 you might not realize you are going over the railroad tracks. There is a decorative art screen on your right as you go over the RR tracks, turn right at the driveway immediately after that. There will be a sign to indicate parking. Campbell is one-way going north. This is a private parking lot and I am not getting a kick-back for recommending it.
I think the cost in this lot is now $3.50 all day. Take your vehicle license plate number and charge card with you for the automatic payment machine. The Fire Dept. also parks in this lot so don’t park in any of their marked spaces. If you park in on-street parking you will be able to use your charge card.
Parking Location for 420 N. Campbell: google map link:
The SOS group will have a large SOS banner which hopefully we will be allowed to hold up in the back of council chambers so we can find each other and gather together. Failing that there is a large gathering space just outside council chambers where we can gather to coordinate.
Wear your SOS T-Shirt. We have a limited number of SOS T-Shirts available for very reasonable price, plus they are good looking and you will look great in it!
T-Shirts: 2 adult Medium (1 blue and 1 black); 2 adult large (1 blue and 1 black) – first-come, first-served.
Inside Council Chambers it is really important to be quiet, respectful (I would say like in church but some church congregations sing, clap, and have a grand time) anyway, be aware that the police are on duty in the council chambers so if anyone is out of line they will let you know. I am not kidding – I am speaking from personal experience – no talking.”
N.B.: Organizers are trying to get this agenda item moved up so that people don’t have to wait. Stay tuned.