The neverending story of the downtown El Paso arena in the Durangito neighborhood is still playing out in the courts and in the City Council chamber.

Because of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus outbreak and the millions of dollars it will cost to fight it and the millions of lost tax money that will impact the City's budget for years, City Council took a vote during their regular Tuesday meeting about whether to suspend the arena project and the Mexican American Cultural Center project.

City reps Alexsandra Annello and Claudia Rodriguez put an item on the agenda to suspend the construction, demolition, and archeological survey of the land in Durangito. Annello and Rodriguez said to prove that their agenda item wasn't partisan they included suspending any further work on the Mexican American Cultural Center.

Mayor Dee Margo and city rep Peter Svarzbein said that Annello and Rodriguez were using the coronavirus outbreak a cover story because they are opponents of the downtown arena. City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said there are no plans to move forward with construction or demolition in Durangito, and as of right now the only money spent on the project has been on buying land in the area and litigation with UTEP professor Max Grossman who believes the area is historic.

Annello and Rodriguez were the only two to vote for suspending the projects and reminded Council that they had voted unanimously to try and save taxpayer money with a unanimous vote to furlough city employees.

This story has been dragging on for years and it's unlikely to come to a resolution any time soon, but we will keep an eye on it and keep you up-to-date.

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