Sun Metro: It’s a Priority
By Joyce Wilson, City Manager
The El Paso City government has made Sun Metro the top priority since early 2006 when the system was in a state of crisis and nearing a complete collapse. Since that time, we reorganized management and our capital improvement program to commit $40 M to purchase 55 new buses and 25 new paratransit buses with, an additional 40 buses due by January 2009 -- a commitment which has reduced the age of our fleet from an average of 12.5 years to an average of 2.5 years, resulting in an increase in reliability and overall performance. In January 2009, pending approval of the proposed FY 2009 budget by the Mass Transit Board, we plan to expand service to include:
We have also expedited a series of major capital projects so that we now have:
- The first I SMART bus service between the International Bridge and Glory Road/UTEP
- The new downtown circulator (free service) that will enhance pedestrian movement throughout the central core
- Reinstatement of Routes 21 and 23 to accommodate high ridership demand
- Additional changes and route enhancements resulting from findings of the long-range transit operations study, due to be completed this summer
The downtown transfer center at San Jacinto Park was relocated to Franklin Street temporarily due to street closures in the vicinity of San Jacinto Park for construction. Subsequently, new construction ensued that will require continued street closures over an extensive period of time for the following purposes:
- 3 transit hubs in final design and ready to go to construction by year end (Mission Valley, Glory Road and Westside terminals)
- A strategy to replace the Northgate Terminal
- Land for the Eastside Terminal near the Zaragoza/Montana area to support future growth
- A decision to locate the Camino Real International Terminal at Union Depot downtown
- Direction to relocate the downtown transfer station away from San Jacinto Park to better provide accommodations
For these reasons it was decided to retain the temporary downtown bus transfer center on Franklin Street until the permanent facility was ready for occupancy. The Mass Transit Board supported this recommendation and the following actions have or are occurring now:
- Mills Building and Plaza Hotel renovations
- Demolition of an existing parking facility and reconstruction of a new facility
- Reconstruction of Oregon Street to accommodate the new I SMART bus service
- Possible construction of a new hotel near San Jacinto Park
- Possible reconstruction of San Jacinto Park into a showcase park
More permanent improvements will follow, pending final design and cost estimates. While this may not be moving at the fast pace some would want, it is advancing as an urgent priority for the health, safety and comfort of the users of the service.
- Construction of shade structures to provide shelter from the sun and other weather elements
- Opening of Main Library from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to provide public restroom access along with ongoing janitorial service to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene for all users
- Construction of new water fountain facilities in Cleveland Square Park that will be completed this week
- On-site security to maintain order and security
- Closure of Franklin Street between Santa Fe and Oregon to bus traffic only to enhance pedestrian safety
- Design for broader improvements and enhancements for greater functionality and safety of the transit mall area
- Solicitation of street vendor services to provide additional amenities
The increased attention to public transit is refreshing as this service becomes ever important as gas prices increase and remain unstable for the longer term. It is regrettable this advocacy didn’t exist five or ten years ago so we could have avoided some of the crisis issues that have plagued the system in recent years. Rest assured that everyone involved with this system, from the elected officials to staff at Sun Metro, are fully committed to advancing a world-class public transit service for present and future riders.
Upcoming City Meetings & Events:
- For a listing of City Meetings, City Council Meetings or community
- To find out what City events are happening in a neighborhood near you, visit the City Events Calendar.
Budget Season in Full Swing
The City of El Paso is now approaching the time period of the budget process in which public budget hearings are held.
This part of the budget process involves the City's executive staff presenting, through a series of meetings, the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year to the Mayor and City Council. The budget hearings also provide opportunities for the public to comment on each of the departments' budgets that are up for review.
The schedule for the upcoming budget hearing season was recently released. For the full listing of hearings, click on the following link: Budget Hearings Schedule - As of 06-17-08
City Uses Utility Savings To Upgrade Infrastructure
The City of El Paso recognized that it needed to address two major issues: escalating utility costs and aging infrastructure. It was also one of the municipalities faced with a Texas state mandate to improve air quality by lowering electricity usage. The City partnered with Johnson Controls, a global leader in energy conservation services, to revitalize the infrastructure in 53 City facilities (2.1 million sq. ft.) and 6,600 traffic signals while lowering energy consumption. Improvements will be implemented at facilities throughout the City, including libraries, recreation centers, pools, senior citizen centers, police stations, museums, city hall, theatres and the convention center.
Johnson Controls Solutions
- Reduce utility costs.
- Comply with Texas State Senate Bill 12 requirements to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent annually from 2007 to 2013.
- Modernize the infrastructure of the city's largest energy consuming buildings without spending capital dollars.
- Perform $14.7 million in infrastructure improvements, including new HVAC equipment, lighting upgrades, building management systems, solar heating systems and traffic signal upgrades
- Partner with the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to utilize the Texas LoanSTAR program to validate and assist in financing the project.
- Utilize the performance contracting financing method, where costs of the project will be offset over time through the energy and operational savings generated by the improvements.
- Secure approximately $300,000 in available rebate money from El Paso Electric.
- Projecting $20.3 million reduction in operating costs over the 10-year contract term.
- Eliminating nearly 11,300 tons of pollutants from the air annually, which equates to removing about 1,950 cars from the road each year.
- Reducing electric consumption by 30 percent at 53 facilities.
- Reducing electric consumption by 84 percent for 6,600 traffic signals.
- Promoting City Renewable Energy Program by installing new solar heating systems at eight (8) indoor pool facilities.
- Utility bill analysis has identified corrections that will save the City $134,000 per year.
Did you know the City of El Paso Street Department Anti-Graffiti program has been removing graffiti from our neighborhoods for more than a decade?
So far this fiscal year, the program has erased more than 1.5 million square feet of graffiti from more than 15,000 locations citywide. Last year, about 1.8 million square feet of graffiti was cleaned up from about 15,000 sites last year.
Most sites are cleaned up within two to three days of the Street Department receiving a request from the public for graffiti removal. There is no fee for the service since the program is already funded by the City.
To report graffiti, request graffiti removal or for more information about the Anti-Graffiti program visit: www.elpasotexas.gov/streets/graffiti.asp or call, 621-6789.
Trash and Recycling Bin Repairs
Public encouraged to report damaged containers
Does your city-issued trash or recycling container have a broken lid or missing wheel?
The City of El Paso Environmental Services Department encourages the public to report damaged containers. The 96-gallon containers are repaired at no charge. Service requests for repairs are usually carried out within one to five weekdays.
The Department would like to remind the public that each customer is provided with a gray container for trash and a blue container for recyclables. Additional trash bins are available for those customers who would like to have an extra container. However, a $10 reoccurring monthly fee is charged for each additional trash container. Currently, the department does not offer additional recycling containers.
If a container must be replaced because it cannot be repaired, it is replaced at no charge unless the damage was caused by the customer. A $48 replacement fee is charged in those rare cases where the damage was caused by the customer. Missing containers should be reported to Environmental Services and the El Paso Police Department.
For more information about repairs or additional containers, visit: www.elpasotexas.gov/environmental_services or call 621-6700.
Public Safety & Health:
Extreme Weather Taskforce
What is a Buddy?
Anyone can be a buddy. A Buddy can be a friend, relative, neighbor or landlord. A Buddy should be someone an elderly person who lives alone can trust in his or her home.
- A Buddy makes a daily personal visit or telephone call to his or her elderly Buddy during a heat wave
- A Buddy encourages the elderly person to rest, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. If there are any errands that must be done, the Buddy does them or makes sure they get done.
- A Buddy is on the lookout for distressed animals that may be experiencing the dangers of extreme heat.
For more safety tips visit the Extreme Weather Taskforce Website at
- Dress for the heat – Wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear a hat or use an umbrella.
- Drink water! Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day. Stay indoors when possible.
- If you do not have an air conditioner and only have a fan – open windows and doors so you won’t be circulating the hot air inside your home.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat.
Check it out: Restaurant Inspection Scores
Restaurant inspection scores are now available at:
This online service is provided by the Department of Public Health to inform the public about food establishments in El Paso County.
Fire Department Safety Tips
Accidents kill one million children each year around the world and permanently disable many more. More children between the ages of 1 to 14 die from accidents involving fires and drowning than any other cause. Almost all of these injuries are preventable.
Fires remain a leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children in the United States. Simply installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area cuts the chances of dying in a home fire in half. Keeping matches, lighters and other heat sources out of children’s reach can help eliminate child-play fires, the leading cause of fire-related death for children 5 and under. Preparation and education are key elements of preventing fire tragedies. Planning and practicing a fire escape route with your family and talking to your children about what to expect in a fire are simple preventative steps anyone can take. A prepared child is more likely to escape a house fire unharmed.
Despite a 40 percent decline since 1987, drowning is still the second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14, taking more than 900 children’s lives each year. For every child who drowns, four more are hospitalized for near drowning. Drownings and near-drownings tend to occur on the weekend (40 percent) and between the months of May and August (62 percent). Most drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools. More than half of these drownings take place in the child’s home pool, and one-third occur at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives. However, it’s important to know that children, especially younger ones, can also drown in as little as 1 inch of water. This puts them at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs. A child should never be unsupervised in or near water, even shallow wading pools.
For any additional information, please call the El Paso Fire Department Public Education/ Public Affairs Division at (915) 771-1090.
Department of Public Health Profile: Public Health Preparedness
The Department of Public Health is committed to keeping residents informed on the programs and services it offers the community.
Who do you serve?
The Public Health Preparedness program serves the entire El Paso community through its planning, education and response efforts. At the same time, our educational presentations can be tailored to suit various audiences such as families, businesses, children, seniors and bilingual audiences.
What services does this program provide?
How does this program protect the health of the El Paso community? What is your mission?
- Disease surveillance and investigation
- Emergency response and planning
- Collaboration with the medical community, emergency management officials and other first responders
- Volunteer recruitment and coordination
- Education and risk communication
- Training for the medical community, other first responders and volunteers
Our program helps to ensure that our community will be prepared in the event of a public health emergency. Events such as these may include bioterrorism, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and pandemic influenza. We provide educational presentations to the community letting people know what they can do to help protect their family during a disaster. We also educate people n what steps they can take to help prevent the spread of disease during an outbreak. In the event of a pubic health emergency, our staff will help ensure that our community receives the necessary medications and medical supplies, as well as clear guidance and information. While our focus in on preparedness planning, prevention and education, should our community be faced with a disaster, we will respond and help establish leadership, direction, assessment and coordination of activities related to public health.
Department of Public Health Profile: Texas Vaccines for Children
The Department of Public Health offers a profile of this vital service for the community.
Whom do you serve?
All six Department of Public Health Centers, 107 Private Healthcare
Providers, Headstart, and local School Districts.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to increase vaccine coverage levels, improve the immunization rates, and to reduce the burden of vaccine preventable diseases.
What services does this program provide?
This program supplies free vaccines to health care providers in El Paso, Horizon, Vinton, Fabens, Canutillo, San Elizario and surrounding areas. This enables TVFC providers to provide immunization services at a low cost/free to our community, thus enabling thousands of children to have access to affordable immunizations. This is accomplished through a network of support with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and with support from private and public entities such as the LHD. The TVFC program manages the vaccine distribution process for 113 TVFC providers to ensure they have all the recommended vaccines available to provide immunization services to our community. This process includes monitoring vaccine usage and ordering vaccines, minimizing the risk of vaccine wastage, and compiling and submitting monthly biological reports to Austin. TVFC Program provides ImmTrac Immunization Registry training, an electronic Statewide Immunization Reporting System, to the TVFC providers in El Paso. We provide Vaccine Management training to new and existing TVFC providers to ensure they are in compliance with the Vaccine Management guidelines as per the Texas Vaccine for Children Operational Manual. The TVFC Program also conducts yearly Co-Casa audits which is a clinical software assessment tool to Daycares/Headstarts and Private/Public Schools in El Paso.
How does this program protect the health of the El Paso community?
Through community presentations and health fairs, this program provides the most current recommended immunization schedules, vaccine updates, and information regarding vaccine preventable diseases. The Texas Vaccines for Children Program also provides the community information regarding hours of operation, fees, and locations for the Department of Public Health Immunization services.
El Paso Municipal Court Traffic Safety Award Recipient
El Paso Municipal Court, in an effort to improve quality of life for the citizens of El Paso, has teamed up with state and local agencies to promote and implement several traffic safety initiatives. In recognition of this, the El Paso Municipal Court was recently recognized for their efforts in Traffic Safety.
The Texas Municipal Courts Education Center’s (TMCEC) Municipal Traffic Safety Initiative, funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, recently sponsored a Traffic Safety Award to recognize those who work in local municipalities that have made outstanding contributions to their community in an effort to increase traffic safety. This competition is a friendly way for municipalities to increase their attention to quality of life through traffic safety activities. All municipal courts in the State of Texas were eligible to apply. Award recipients were honored at the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Traffic Safety Conference on May 22, 2008 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. Texas Municipal Court Association (TMCA) Board President, Judge Brian Holman, Lewisville Municipal Court, presented the El Paso Municipal Court with their award.
"Municipal courts across the State can have an enormous impact on the quality of life in each of their communities and the efforts of the Traffic Safety Award recipients reflect a commitment to protect their residents and improve traffic safety,” said Judge Brian S. Holman, Lewisville Municipal Court. “The Texas Municipal Courts Association applauds their efforts and encourages other courts and communities to get involved in ways to increase awareness and improve the effectiveness of their traffic safety programs. In this time of skyrocketing fuel prices, reducing speed not only saves money, it saves lives and will often save a trip to traffic court."
Applicants were judged on the basis of what their court is doing in terms of public outreach in their community to increase traffic safety while decreasing traffic crashes, traffic fatalities, juvenile DUI, child safety seat offenses, red light running, and other traffic related offenses.
PHOTO: L to R: TMCA President, Judge Brian Holman, Sentencing Coordinator Gabriela Valle, Judge Daniela Robledo, and Court Administrator Richarda Momsen.
Public Health Welcomes New Director
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is proud to announce the arrival of its new Director, Mr. Michael Hill. Mr. Hill brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to El Paso all of which will aid in his leadership over the largest health department on the Texas border.
Mr. Hill has extensive experience in a variety of areas, such as public health preparedness, disease control, and public health information systems. As Health Director, he will oversee a staff of 360 and an annual operating budget of $24.4 million. Mr. Hill will provide leadership in operations for Animal Services, Public Health Preparedness, Epidemiology, Food Inspection, Health Education, Immunization, Laboratory, Rawlings Dental Clinic, STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Control, Tuberculosis (TB) Control, Texas Vaccines for Children, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and 2-1-1.
Mr. Hill held the position of Administrator and Health Officer for the Okeechobee County Health Department in Florida from 2000 – 2006, where he successfully reduced Hepatitis A cases from 101.5 per 100,000 to 0 in less than three years. He provided public health leadership to support Florida counties impacted by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jean in 2004 and to Mississippi areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Most recently, he served as Senior Deputy Director of Disease Control and Prevention for San Joaquin County Public Health Services in Stockton, California where he led teams including public health laboratory, epidemiology, TB control, communicable disease control, AIDS, STD, public health preparedness and clinical services.
“Our goal for fiscal year 2009 is to begin the process of transforming the Department of Public Health into a high-performing, results-oriented organization that will be universally respected by citizens, professional partners and peer agencies,” says Hill. Mr. Hill states that his immediate goals for the Department of Public Health are “to increase collaboration with the community and with stakeholders”. His long-term goals for the Department of Public Health are to make El Paso the healthiest community it can be. Mr. Hill states that he is “looking forward to working towards building a healthy future for all El Pasoans.”
Michael Hill holds a Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida, a Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Michigan University. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a Certified Public Health Administrator (CPHA), and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Mr. Hill is the current president of the National Association for Public Health Information Technology and currently serves on the governing council for the American Public Health Association.
Animal Services Officer Receives National Certification
The Department of Public Health is committed to providing quality customer service by making necessary improvements to Animal Services (formerly Animal Control). In a continual effort to provide quality service for the El Paso community, Animal Services is proud to announce that Animal Control Shift Supervisor Hugo Navarro recently successfully completed a 3-week training to become a certified Animal Cruelty Investigator.
“To our knowledge, Mr. Navarro is the first animal control officer in El Paso to have taken and completed this training and certification. This is a tremendous step forward for Animal Services,” says Ray Sim, Deputy Director for Animal Services, a program of the City of El Paso Department of Public Health. “This certification enhances our ability to provide a higher level of service to the El Paso community and it is based on recognizable industry standards.”
The Animal Cruelty Investigator program is conducted by the Law Enforcement Training Institute at the University of Missouri and Code 3 Associates. It is designed for animal cruelty investigators at the federal, state, and local levels, humane society cruelty investigators, animal control officers, police officers and sheriff's deputies responsible for the investigation of animal cruelty complaints.
Deputy Director Sim recently reassigned Animal Services supervisory personnel and tasked Mr. Navarro, an Animal Control Supervisor with El Paso Animal Services for eight years, with the principal responsibility for supervising investigations and complaints involving animal cruelty, standards of care, and animal establishment inspections and permits
Development & Infrastructure:
City Takes Leadership Role in LEED Certification
City Council recently approved an Ordinance adopting the United States Green Building Council-Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification requirements for the construction of all new and renovated city-owned buildings 5,000 square feet and larger.
This action presents an innovative opportunity to convert the design and construction of the built environment in our community towards energy efficiency. Notably, the benefits of applying green building measures can result in significant cost savings by encouraging resource conservation and reducing waste generated by construction projects.
State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED for public-owned and public-funded buildings. The LEED Green Building Rating System provides multiple certification levels of which the City has targeted Silver Certification providing for added sustainability measures.
To view the presentation, please click here
Approximately 111 municipalities have implemented LEED programs to date across the country
Austin, Dallas, Frisco, Houston & San Antonio in Texas
The City is a Governmental Member of the United States Green Building Council
Local USGBC Chapter “the Chihuahuan Desert Chapter”
Larry Nichols, Deputy Director with Development Services is the State Representative
- 2 City buildings currently in design are registered for potential LEED Certification
Cielo Vista Branch Library
Mission Valley Transit Terminal and Visitor Center
Temporary Downtown Transit Terminal Update: Franklin Street Closure
In an effort to optimize the safety of public traffic circulating in the area of the Temporary Downtown Transit Terminal, effective June 15, 2008 Franklin Street from Santa Fe Street to Oregon Street was restricted to bus traffic only.
While the temporary bus locations currently in operation have improved pedestrian safety, the closure of Franklin Street will further enhance safety measures. It will also improve the proximity and consolidation of amenities available to Sun Metro customers and serves as a logistical advantage to maintain on-time service.
As part of the Traffic Control Plan that will be implemented and as a concerted effort to provide improved services to Sun Metro customers during this period, additional canopies, benches and water fountains will be installed along Franklin. Inclusively, added signage will be installed to facilitate the new routing of pedestrians, customers of businesses and vehicular traffic in the impacted area. Existing restroom facilities at the Main Library will continue to be available for Sun Metro customers.
To view the new boarding location map, please click here
The closure is expected to be in effect throughout the next several months
A small portion of El Paso Street will also be utilized for bus traffic
Missouri Avenue traffic circulation returned to its normal conditions
All lanes will be open to traffic
Parking meters will be available
Additional security will be onsite to assist with traffic control measures in place
Sun Metro personnel will continue to be on hand to assist customers and direct them to the appropriate boarding locations
Curbside Recycling Program Receives Top Honors
The Curbside Recycling program of the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department has won two prestigious statewide awards.
The Texas Public Works Association is recognizing the program with the John Teipel Award for Environmental Excellence and with the 2008 Project of the Year award for projects from $2 million to $10 million. The awards were presented at the Texas Public Works Association Awards Banquet in Galveston on June 13.
The City launched its curbside recycling program a year ago in an effort to make El Paso a more environmentally-friendly community. The program began with the distribution of 160,000 96-gallon blue bins and the Drop It in The Blue recycling awareness campaign.
The community response to the program has been phenomenal. During its first year El Pasoans recycled nearly 500 percent more materials than they did in all of 2006.
- El Pasoans recycled 34,285 tons.
- About 72 percent of the recycled materials were paper products, such as cardboard, newspaper and junk mail. Plastic materials accounted for 7 percent of the materials, metal for 4 percent and the remaining 17 percent was residual or contaminated waste.
- The program is averaging 647 tons per week.
- Participation in the program is about 85 percent.
- The recycling program has extended life of the Clint landfill by about two years.
- City revenue earned from the recycling program is about $1.3 million.
What can be recycled at the curb?
- Increase the amount of waste collected for recycling to 45,000 tons.
- Reduce the amount of residual waste through recycling awareness campaigns
- Boost participation from single-family households beyond 85 percent.
- Promote recycling and waste reduction among businesses and other public entities.
- Continue to explore other avenues for recycling additional materials, such as electronics, glass and plastic bags.
- Cardboard and mixed paper, such as newspaper, officer paper, junk mail, magazines, phone books, shredded paper.
- Plastic bottles and jugs with a #1 or #2 inside a triangle located on the bottom, such as water bottles, detergent bottles and milk jugs.
- Aluminum foil as well as aluminum, steel, tin and bimetallic cans. Basically all beverage and food cans.
For more information about the Curbside Recycling program call the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department, at 621-6700 or visit: elpasorecycle.com.
- Water hoses
- Plastic bags
- Dirty diapers
- Yard waste
- Hazardous waste.
Digital Signs Helping to Alleviate Wait Times at International Bridges
Two portable message boards at the Zaragosa and Santa Fe Street (Paso Del Norte) international bridges are helping to speed up border crossing wait times by reminding the traveling public to prepare for inspection.
The digital signs were recently placed near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection stations by the City of El Paso International Bridges Department.
The message boards advise motorists and their passengers to prepare for inspection by ending all cell phone conversations, declaring all items and having their documentation ready for inspection. Each message is displayed on an 8-second cycle and is delivered in both English and Spanish.
“The City of El Paso has received very positive public feedback regarding these message boards and CBP has commented that they have helped tremendously,” stated Said Larbi-Cherif, director of the City of El Paso International Bridges Department.
Each bridge received one message board. The total cost of the signs purchased through bridge toll revenue was $36,000.
From El Paso International Airport
Fazio course in El Paso open to public
Texas Golfer Magazine, North Texas Edition featured Butterfield Trail Golf Course as the cover story in the May 2008 issue.
El Paso has something no other city in Texas can claim—a Tom Fazio-designed municipal golf course, the Butterfield Trail Golf Club, that is open to the public, mentioned James McAfee, writer for the magazine. The article emphasized Butterfield Trail Golf Course being named as one of the tip 10 courses you can play by Golf Magazine and one of the candidates for the Best New Courses by Golf Digest. Including, the 8,800 square foot club house which received the Mayor’s Award for outstanding architectural design from the American Institute of Architects.
Spirit of Amigo Fair
As part of the National Tourism Week, El Paso International Airport participated in the Spirit of the Amigo Travel Tradeshow on Thursday, May 15, 2008. This event provided the opportunity to showcase and promote Butterfield Trail Golf Course, as well as the opportunity to participate in an annual community event.
El Paso is on the Right Path
Airport Revenue News featured the article by Evonn Gibbs, “Looking to Boost Revenue...Airports Come Up With Off-Beat Ideas” in their March 2008 Issue.
“From just about anywhere on the campus of El Paso International (ELP), say officials, one can look across the horizon as see a multi-billion-dollar military installation going up almost as far as the eye can see.” Full Article
Committed to Safety, Bus Reliability, and Excellence in Customer Service
Outstanding Metropolitan System
Sun Metro is returning to the basics of transit. For over 20 years, Sun Metro has provided public transportation in the City of El Paso. This year marked an important historical juncture as, for the first time, Sun Metro received state-wide recognition by the Texas Transit Association with the Outstanding Metropolitan System Award for taking a leadership role in improving public transportation in the state of Texas.
Sun Metro is committed to ensuring the community has a safe, reliable, clean bus driven by a professional coach operator that practices excellence in customer service.
As prices at the pump continue on the rise, Sun Metro reaffirms its commitment to providing the community with a viable transportation alternative. In a year’s time, the system achieved great performance-based successes driven by a 12% increase in on-time performance, a 72% decrease in missed service and an over 20% reduction in road calls (fixed-route). Sun Metro’s customer-focused vision continues to reclaim the public’s confidence in mass transit, leading to an over 7% increase in ridership through April of this year and will continue to play an increasing role as the City moves towards achieving its goal of becoming the least transit-dependent city in the nation.
Meeting a Wide-Range of Passenger Needs
Sun Metro is proactive in its efforts to ensure passenger safety. Staff is taking customer service to the next level with ongoing training opportunities coupled with growing partnerships with advocacy organizations for the disabled and elderly. Sun Metro’s commitment to creating a highly visible safety training program recently earned the Department recognition and a rebate check totaling $77,603 from the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool for achieving a 48% decrease in accident claims filed, decreasing both the frequency and severity of accident claims since the 2005-2006 coverage period.
In addition, Over 600 mobility devices in a variety of shapes and sizes exist in the market today. As a result Sun Metro has launched the Passenger Safe Ride Program to ensure our professional Coach Operators are able to properly secure passengers with mobility devices according to ADA securement guidelines.
Sun Metro encourages passengers to take advantage of this program and contact safety staff to set up an appointment to assess whether securement straps are recommended to secure their mobility device.
Passenger Safe Ride Program: 534-5812
- Fixed-route and LIFT vehicles are built in accordance with the securement guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Over 600 mobility devices in a variety of shapes and sizes exist in the market today, posing a significant challenge for our professional Coach Operators to meet ADA securement guidelines
- To ensure proper securement of all passengers with mobility devices Sun Metro has purchased securement straps to provide to passengers at no cost.
Understanding Street Maintenance
Ever wonder why some streets are resurfaced while others get different forms of maintenance?
The City of El Paso Street Department is responsible for maintaining more than 2,500 centerline miles of streets. A centerline mile is a mile of roadway in one direction of travel regardless of the number of lanes on the street.
The Street Department’s goal is to extend the useful life of each street to try to keep expenses down and to avoid the need to reconstruct a street. Replacing every street maintained by the City would cost about $2.6 billion. To avoid burdening taxpayers with such an astronomical cost the Street Department uses various pavement restoration methods to extend the life of each street, such as pothole patching, crack sealing, resurfacing and total street reconstruction.
Street resurfacing, the practice of replacing the pavement of a street and street reconstruction are the most expensive treatments to a street. Street resurfacing costs about $13 per square yard and street reconstruction costs about $65 per square yard.
The type of restoration technique each street requires is based on several factors, including funding availability, the condition of the pavement, community requests and the age of the street. The Street Department is gearing up to start on a $6 million resurfacing project and is in the process of completing two resurfacing contracts worth about $10 million.
Though street restoration funds are limited, the Street Department encourages citizens to report problems with streets, such as cracks, potholes or faded stripping. The Street Department utilizes the extra eyes to help ensure that the roads are safe for the traveling public.
Service requests may be made by calling 621-6750 or by visiting www.elpasotexas.gov/streets and filling out a short form.
Four Top Designers Featured in Golf Digest
In May 2008, Golf Digest featured four top designers and asked them about their most recent U.S. courses and what is next. Tom Fazio’s most recent design is Butterfield Trail Golf Course in El Paso. Fazio comments “El Paso is booming, and it’s close to the airport if you’re on your way in or out of town.” His next project will be Genesis Point near Savannah, GA which opens in fall 2009.
Click here to view article
Concession Revenue Gains
In the fall of 2006, City Council voted to change Food and Beverage, as well as, News and Gift vendors at El Paso International Airport.
El Paso International Airport is now complete with the first phase of this transition in existing terminal space.
The graphs highlight Second Quarter gains in revenue associated with this program change.
Revenue per enplaned passenger has increased 40% from $4.10 per passenger to $5.74 per passenger (2nd Qtr 2006 compared to 2nd Qtr 2008).
Food & Beverage – News and Gift revenue has increased from $1,601,747 in 2006 to $2,281,453 in 2008, an increase of over 40% (2nd Qtr 2006 compared to 2nd Qtr 2008).
It is believed that these strong revenue gains in the identical square footage reflects customer satisfaction with the new concepts, we look forward to additional service and revenue improvements associated with ongoing concourse construction and the addition of new concession concepts for both Food & Beverage – News & Gifts operations.
Butterfield Trail Golf Club Loyalty Program
Butterfield Trail Golf Club is excited to announce the unveiling of our new loyalty program for golfers. The 6-Shooter and Golfer’s Dozen offer a variety of benefits including preferred weekday and weekend rates. In addition to the preferred rates you will also receive exclusive invitations to Butterfield Trail Golf Club events, complimentary USGA GHIN handicap service for 2008 and a club bag tag. These cards will be an optimal way for El Paso area golfers to make Butterfield Trail Golf Club their home golf course.
El Paso residents can purchase their 2008 6-Shooter for $266.76 and/or a Golfer’s Dozen Loyalty card for $533.52. Butterfield Trail Golf Club loyalty cards also offer these preferred rates to seniors, Military, Tri-Residents and Non-Residents as well.
Visit our website and sign up to start receiving our monthly newsletters and e-mail blasts today. Simply log on to www.butterfieldtrailgolf.com
Quality of Life:
Museums and Cultural Affairs Events
Click on any of the links below to learn more about the exciting and intriguing events being offered out of the City’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department!
It’s Time Again for Summer Concerts
The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department of the City of El Paso is pleased to announce the concert line-up for both its premier summer concert series: Alfresco! Fridays and Music Under the Stars.
Concerts are every Friday at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted, in Arts Festival Plaza, which is located between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso.
|July 11||Windy City (A Tribute to “Chicago”)
|July 18||Tejas Band (Variety)
|July 25||Fixed Idea (Ska)
|August 1||Dan Lambert Trio (Jazz Rock Variety)
|August 8||Nando & The Lineup (Blues)
|August 15||The High Society Orchestra (Big Band Variety)
Music Under the Stars – 25th Anniversary Season
Concerts are held every Sunday at 7:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted, at the Chamizal National Memorial located at 800 South San Marcial St. This year, a new logo was selected for the event’s silver season following a design competition. Congratulations to Mr. Michael Contreras for his logo being selected.
||Sangre Gitana (Rumba Flamenco salute to the Gypsy Kings)
|July 4||4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with El Paso Symphony Orchestra
|July 13||Radio La Chusma (Latin, Reggae, Afro-Cuban)
|July 20||Hermann Sons German Band (German-Austrian Folk)
|July 27||Fungi Mungle (Tribute to 70’s Disco)
|August 3||Hot Club of San Francisco (Out of Town Guest Artist – Gypsy Jazz)
|August 10||New Orleans’ own “Hot 8 Jazz Band”
(Out of Town Guest Artist – Traditional 2nd Line Jazz)
|August 17||Noche Ranchera featuring Mariachi Tenampa
(Out of Town Guest Artist – Mariachi Group from Albuquerque, NM)
For more information, please call MCAD at (915) 5414481.
City of El Paso’s Department of Community and Human Development to Receive National Award
The National Community Development Association (NCDA) will award the City of El Paso’s Department of Community and Human Development along with six other winners, the John A. Sasso National Community Development Week Award. The award will be presented on Friday, June 20, 2008 at the National Community Development Association’s (NCDA) 2008 Annual Conference in Pittsburg, PA during the John A. Sasso Awards Luncheon.
The John A. Sasso National Community Development Award recognizes those communities that exemplify the spirit of the Community Development Block Grant Program (a federal grant the City receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD) by showcasing its works through the activities and events during Community Development Week. To be eligible for the award, applicants must provide empirical evidence that highlight the City’s dedication to positively affecting the lives of its lower income residents.
The City of El Paso exemplifies all that National Community Development Week stands for. It encourages the participation of the community. It is also apparent that the City of El Paso has established many avenues of getting information and services to its citizens.
In an effort to educate the public, media, federal, state and locally elected officials of the importance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the City of El Paso’s Department of Community and Human Development celebrated Community Development Week on April 7-12.
For more information on CDBG Programs call:
541-4643 or www.elpasotexas.gov/commdev/grant.asp
2008 Neighborhood Leadership Academy Graduates Recognized
On May 20, 2008 Mayor and City Council recognized the 2008 Neighborhood Leadership Academy Graduates.
The Neighborhood Services division of the City of El Paso’s Department of Community and Human Development hosted a Neighborhood Leadership Academy Graduation on Friday, April 4, 2008. This academy is a 16-week course, scheduled to meet every Wednesday of the week from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The goal of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is to provide residents with information and knowledge so they may have equitable input on issues and policies affecting City Government. This program shapes the confidence of citizens who want to be knowledgeable of how City services and policy decisions operate and to also promote their individual purpose within civic and community affairs.
The Academy provided participants with practical skills in developing and organizing a neighborhood association and empowering them to focus on quality of life issues identified through a consensus building process with their neighbors. The El Paso City Council passed a citizen involvement policy to facilitate opportunities for citizens to be involved in local government and one of the goals is to establish the Neighborhood Leadership Academy for non-traditional leaders.
National Parks and Recreation Month
The month of July will be National Parks and Recreation Month and will be celebrated in El Paso, Texas with the following list of scheduled events over the month. All events listed are free of charge and for more information call 541-4331.
||Name of Event
With Gus and Goldie, Sports individuals dressed up and like (to be discussed)
|City Council Chambers
|July 8 & 9
||Autumn Sam Basketball Camp
(Free - Girls only – ages to be announced)
|Chalio Acosta Center
||Downtown Concert Series
(Free) (12:00 p.m. to – 1:00 p.m.)
(Singer Jacqueline Mata)
San Jacinto Plaza
||Think Green (Recyclable Event)
(For Seniors) (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Craft Show
(6:00 p.m – Fashion Show.)
|at Bassett Place
||Think Green (Recyclable Event)
(For Youth) (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Craft Show
(6:30 p.m – Fashion Show.)
|at Basset Place
||Healthy Hearts and Parks Fun Walk
(8:00 a.m.) (Free)
|Marty Robbins Recreation Center
||all Recreation Centers
(Times to be announced)
all Senior Centers
|July 25 - 27
||Nations Tobin Sports Center
||A Family Event Outing Adventure
(4:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m.) (Overnight)
|Memorial Park Reserve Area and Memorial Aquatic Facility
|Park next to Rae Gilmore Center
Parks and Recreation Events
Learn more about Parks and Recreation Summer Events going on in a neighborhood near you!
Community and Human Development Programs
Find out more on what valuable assistance is offered through various Community and Human Development Department programs and partnerships
Military, Fire & Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
HALF-PRICE DAY FOR ALL ZOO VISITORS!
El Paso Zoo Salutes the People Who Save & Serve!!
El Paso Zoo
Saturday, July 5th
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cool displays including Helicopter & Service Vehicles, DJ Music, and Water Safety Demo
Bring the family to see displays by the military, police, fire department, Customs, Border Patrol and many others. They are invited to display their vehicles and equipment as the El Paso Zoo honors all the men and women who save, serve and protect our country.On this day, ALL ZOO
VISITORS pay HALF PRICE for Zoo admission (not only military, fire and law personnel). Visit inside the Customs and Border Protection's Blackhawk & Huey Helicopters. Plus, the Red Cross teaches Water Safety after the Sea Lion Encounters (11:15 a.m. & 3:15 p.m.), face painting for kids, Sifu Ray Abeyta demonstrates Tai Chi with help from the EPFD and DJ Antonio B Entertainment provides music. Active military with an I.D. card get 10% off at the Grasslands Cafe & Elephant's Trunk Gift Store. El Paso Zoo: 4001 E. Paisano – 521-1850 – www.elpasozoo.org
We Thank You for Your Support:
Lower Dyer Neighborhood Clean-Up, Picnic & Health Fair
District 2, Representative Susie Byrd, Mayor Cook, Council and the Department of Community and Human Development thank all the agencies, volunteers, residents of Lower Dyer and partners for participating in the Clean-Up, Picnic and Health Fair that took place in early April 2008.
This event was not only aimed at assisting residents to acquire much needed services, but it was also aimed to promote family wellness and neighborhood pride.
For more information please contact:
Soraya Ayub at 541-4019
2008 Older El Pasoans Hall of Fame Winners
Hosted by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (R.S.V.P.)
In recognition of senior citizen volunteers serving the El Paso community, the Department of Community and Human Development Retired and Senior Volunteer Program hosted the 2008 Older El Pasoan Hall of Fame Ceremony on May 9, 2008.
The purpose of this event was to honor four senior volunteers out of the many nominated for their outstanding service and dedication to the community.
This year the outstanding senior volunteers recognized are:
Magdalena Mendoza, Hal Kaufman, Baby Ruth Boswell and Dorotha Muñoz
Older El Pasoans Hall of Fame winners – (age group 85 and above) Dorotha Munoz, (age group 65 – 84) Hal Kaufman, Baby Ruth Boswell, and Magdalena Mendoza.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program exists to provide enrichment of older adults’ lives through significant community service. It is a national program with 758 projects throughout the United States. There are 480,000 volunteers nationwide assigned to 65,300 community organizations. RSVP is part of the National Senior Service Corporation.
The purpose of RSVP is to provide enrichment for older adults through significant community service work. It encourages seniors to bring a lifetime of talent, experience, skills and hobbies to community projects and organizations needing volunteer talent.
El Paso Zoo Camp!
Kids between the ages of 6-10 can explore the wide world of Mammoths, Mastodons and Elephants at this year’s Zoo Camp 2008. The week-long classes are from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, beginning June 9th - Aug. 15 at the El Paso Zoo, 4001 E. Paisano. The sessions that are still available are July 14-18, 21-25, July 28-August 1st, August 4-8 and 11-15th. Children will learn about the habitat, diet and intelligence of the popular pachyderms and will have the opportunity to visit behind the scenes, work on crafts, games, participate in live animal encounters and much more.
Cost is $85 for non-members and $75 for Zoo members, which includes an official Zoo Camp 2008 T-shirt and healthy snacks. Advance reservations required and fee must be paid before campers are registered. Please call the El Paso Zoological Society at 915-532-8156 for information.
COST: $85 non-members, $75 members (T-shirt & snack)
INFO: Sign-up in person at the El Paso Zoological Society (4001 E. Paisano) or by phone at 532-8156.
4th Annual Neighborhood Summit
The Neighborhood Summit is an annual event which allows residents the opportunity to participate in a series of educational workshops, build networks among neighboring associations and gather inspiration from highly motivated keynote speakers.
Admission is FREE! Lunch will be provided.
Please RSVP to Jody by email email@example.com
Saturday, July 19, 2008
8:30am - 2:00 pm
Registration from 7:30am - 8:30 am
Ysleta Independent School District – Administration & Cultural Arts Center
(9600 Sims Dr.)
For more information please contact:
H.W. “Bill” Sparks
Chairman, El Paso Neighborhood Coalition Council
Western Hills Teachers shovel up success at the El Paso Zoo!
PHOTO: Western Hills Elementary School teacher Lisa Askenazi makes good on a promise to her students.
– Photo by Leonel Monroy, Jr.
On June 5th, 2008, Western Hills Elementary school teachers rolled up their sleeves and helped El Paso Zoo keepers shovel up a stunt to celebrate student achievement.
At the beginning of the school year, each grade level at Western Hills chose a “stunt” to spur academic achievement in a healthy and positive way. The goal was to become recognized as “Exemplary” by the Texas Educational Agency by the end of the year.
The 2nd grade teachers wanted a stunt that was not only unusual and fun, but educational too. That’s where the El Paso Zoo came in. The teachers want students to see what’s involved in caring for the Zoo’s two Asian elephants, Savannah and Juno, and asked the zoo for help with the incentive for the kids - à la Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs. The students met their goal – and were very happy to see the payoff.
The students watched as their teachers walked in to the exhibit yard, to shovel elephant poop! Afterwards, students had the opportunity to dissect the poop to see what elephants eat. It was both an educational experience and a lot of fun!