Libraries will not be part of the second phase of El Paso’s gradual reopening, the city announced Tuesday.

While lingering COVID-19 safety concerns is partly the reason, finances are the real reason why. El Paso’s economy has taken a beating since the pandemic brought most businesses to a standstill and that in turn has affected City Hall’s budget. Our city government is reportedly staring down the barrel of a $100 million dollar budget shortfall over the next several years.

Although the downtown library and all branches are not open for in-person visits, the library website is a viable option. EPPL provides free online use of eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines, as well as the streaming of movies, TV shows, and music recordings.

As 93.1 KISS-FM has previously reported, El Pasoans can also forget about splish-splashing away at a city or county run pool or running through one of the water features at a splash pad. In fact, most city run facilities will not re-open anytime in the foreseeable future.

To ensure the health and safety of the public and our workforce and given the budget and staffing shortfalls caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all City libraries, museums, recreation centers, senior centers, aquatics and sports facilities will remain closed through the summer. These facilities will remain closed for use by the public until further notice. -– Statement from the City of El Paso

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