Do we really need bathrooms at San Jacinto Plaza? The City of El Paso thinks we do.

Nearly three years after council voted against spending an additional $400,000 for the installation of self-cleaning restrooms, and almost a year and a half after the park reopened following a three year $6 million renovation, it's going to use $700,000 of your tax dollars to get them built.

City Council recently approved issuing nearly $69 million in certificates of obligation to fund restrooms at San Jacinto Plaza, among other projects. Certificates of Obligation, which are repaid with property tax revenue, do not require voter approval.

Council has not given any indication of what type of restrooms the city has in mind.

In December of 2014, council voted against spending $400,000 on self-cleaning restrooms deeming them too expensive, and the plaza renovation already being too far behind schedule to make more changes.

The subject came up again in the summer of 2015, only this time it was installing what were referred to as “public ‘loos.'” Council discussed putting two on city owned property -- one near the courthouse at Aztec Calendar Park and another at Cleveland Square -- at the cost of about $90,000 each, but no action was ever taken.

The last time San Jacinto Plaza had public restrooms was in the '90s. The underground facilities were permanently closed in 1995 after years of vandalism and neglect.

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