This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Special City Council Meeting: The El Paso City Council is having a special meeting on Friday night to vote on extending or ending the emergency disaster declaration issued a week ago by Mayor Oscar Leeser. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 300 N. Campbell Street. The mayor issued the declaration on Dec. 17 as a means to get the state to help the city shelter and protect the thousands of migrants who are arriving at El Paso’s ports of entry on a daily basis. The mayor’s declaration is only valid for seven days. City Council must unanimously approve the declaration in order for it to stand for another 30 days. However, if the council votes against it, the mayor can issue another seven-day emergency declaration. The council meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live on the city of El Paso YouTube channel.
Tony the Tiger Fan Fiesta Canceled: The Sun Bowl Association on Wednesday canceled its Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta that is traditionally held at the Downtown convention center because the center is being used to house migrants. The fan fiesta was set for Dec. 29 as the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game is Dec. 30. The Red Cross and the city of El Paso have set up hundreds of cots at the civic center as part of a massive effort to house migrants overnight as the temperature in El Paso is set to drop to the 20s overnight.
City Opens Warming Centers: In anticipation of below freezing temperatures expected this weekend, the city Parks and Recreation Department, the Office of Emergency Management and the Extreme Weather Task Force are opening warming sites at various recreation centers. The warming centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 23-25. The centers are the Galatzan Recreation Center, 650 Wallenberg Drive; Marty Robbins Rec Center, 11600 Vista Del Sol Drive; Memorial Senior Center, 1800 Byron St.; Chalio Acosta Sports Center, 4321 Delta Drive; Veterans Rec Center, 5301 Salem Drive; and Valle Bajo Community Center, 7380 Alameda Drive. Anyone seeking access to warming centers and/or experiencing insufficient heat is encouraged to visit a warming center and/or contact 311 for more information. For more information about extreme cold safety, visit ElPasoReady.org.