Odessa City Council to Use Debt Money to Fund Citywide Projects - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Odessa City Council to Use Debt Money to Fund Citywide Projects

Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Odessa City Council will issue up to $53 million worth of debt money for capital improvement programs in Odessa. The money would only be used towards projects to improve issues in streets, drainage and parks. 

According to Odessa Public Information Officer, Andrea Goodson, the city is not taking on this debt to clear out another debt.

She said the city is not in the red. Instead, it's basically going to give IOU's to partners that will fund projects until they have enough money to actually pay them back. 

"It's a good deal, but I don't know how much they should be spending. We all have to pay for it, you know?" Dr. Tomas Suton, a retired Psychologist in Odessa, said. 

"We don't know how much or in what of those three areas it would be spent. The Council can come back and decide if they want it all in one and not the other, or two and not one," Goodson said.

This proposal has been in the works for several months and was approved in late August.

"Because the economy is good right now, it makes perfect sense to work on those improvements that desperately need to be done because of the growth," Goodson said.

Plus, a sales tax increase went into effect in September, and that already helped put the city up 15 percent from what it had this time last year. Now the City Council just has to make selections from a list of projects to pursue.

According to Odessa residents, the problems are abundant.
 
"We do need to do something about all this traffic, especially in the interstate. We just need more lanes or something to detour the truck traffic," Odessa resident, Grace Lozano, said.

Dr. Suton thinks drainage is a priority, and youngster, Steven Warden wants there to be more things to do physically around the city.

"That's, I think, the ultimate goal of the city to grow and to diversify but it's a double-edged sword," Goodson said.

She was referring to how people want more development but there's a shortage of workers to help propel and sustain new investments. 

There is no timeline for when the projects will be determined but officials say when the City Council decides they're ready, it'll be on the agenda and they encourage the public to use their voice at the meetings.
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