WATCH: Amarillo City Council to discuss closing parks, City Hall costs during Tuesday meeting

Your Local Election HQ

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In the wake of the November 2021 elections on the High Plains, in which voters rejected a proposition to raise Amarillo’s taxes to pay for parks as well as higher pay for police and firefighters, the Amarillo City Council is expected to see some difficult conversations.

On the agenda for the Nov. 9 City Council meeting, the city described a discussion into adjustments for the Parks & Recreation Department, including re-strategizing how to fund services and possibly closing parks around the community. This could end up a heavy hit against Parks & Recreation only a bit over a month after its Parks Master Plan, meant to focus on adding new infrastructure and updates to the facilities, got its long-awaited city council approval.

Another discussion set for the Tuesday meeting, according to the agenda, is the fate of Amarillo’s city hall. With the building still needing what council members have described as dire fixes, either constructing a new hall or renovating the existing facility has been a point of contention for leaders and residents. Whichever option the city eventually settles on, the council will need to decide how to fund the project.

When city hall most recently took the local spotlight, multiple lawsuits regarding funding the facility’s renovation or construction found their way to court. A local business owner petitioned that the city’s attempt to pursue Certificates of Obligation to pay for the project was illegal. Meanwhile, the city argued that the business owner’s lawsuit was linked to a former failed proposition from the 2020 election, and not their current efforts to fund renovating or constructing the city hall building.

That same week, the city withdrew its request for Certificates of Obligation to fund the project entirely. It was unclear how that withdrawal would impact either lawsuit.

“Today, we took a vote to step back and take a pause. We want to be able to answer the questions that we’ve had from citizens about the timing and how we move forward on City Hall,” Mayor Nelson said after the vote to withdraw, on Aug. 24, “We want to be as diligent as we possibly can.”

The City Council meeting will be available live in this story on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. CST.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Video Forecast

Don't Miss