El Paso must amend its plan to present voters in November with a single ballot question for a general obligation bond deal worth as much as $835 million, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said last week.
The attorney general’s public finance division said the bond proposal must be divided into at least two categories, but it did not make specific recommendations.
City manager Joyce Wilson said the bond proposal probably will be broken into functional categories.
An official project list to be financed with bond proceeds has not been developed, but the city is expected to seek between $650 million and $835 million of new debt.
Some of the proposed sports facilities may be listed as separate questions, Wilson said, because the bonds may be supported by special levies on tickets or hotel taxes.
The preliminary list includes a multipurpose event center expected to cost up to $180 million, a soccer stadium for $120 million, a minor league baseball stadium for $55 million, and $50 million of upgrades to the Sun Bowl football stadium owned by the University of Texas at El Paso.
Proceeds from the bonds would also finance $200 million of street reconstruction efforts, $125 million of park projects, and $20 million of general downtown improvements.
The City Council will begin work on the project list next week, with a decision in July for the Nov. 6 election.
El Paso’s GO bonds are rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service.
The city has approximately $600 million of outstanding GO debt and $217 million of outstanding certificates of obligation.