City of Amarillo updates on moving forward during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: City of Amarillo updates on moving forward during COVID-19 crisis

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo is making adjustments to their upcoming plans following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last night the discussion with City Council was whether a cancellation or postponement was an appropriate response," said Kevin Starbuck, assistant city manager for the City of Amarillo. "The direction from Council is that they would prefer us to look at a postponement of the election, which will then be included in the November 3 election.”

Starbuck says he does not anticipate the delay of the election having any real impact on current or future plans for the City of Amarillo.

“There are no plans related to pushing anything back," Starbuck said. "The thing that we would love to communicate with the citizens, is that an election is still called, and there will be opportunity to educate the community on what the proposal is. Then an opportunity for the City Council to continue to evaluate if this is the right project moving forward or if we need to adjust accordingly given the dynamics of the situation.”

The City of Amarillo’s Finance Director Laura Storrs says, since the spread of COVID-19, City Council has determined current projects will continue moving forward as scheduled.

One of those projects includes a debt reimbursement to purchase a warehouse near City Hall which will be used as an additional City building.

Storrs says the city has yet to determine what the building will be used for.

“We will determine what the use of that property will be for in the future," Storrs said. "Whether we continue with a tenant inside of it, or if it’s used to potentially expand City facilities.”

City Council also discussed how to continue moving forward with the Thompson Park pool project, and they are hoping for the community’s input on this decision.

“At this point there’s not specific funding set aside to do the Thompson Pool Park. If the Council determines they want to move forward doing the pool, then we would issue debt to cover it, and if the Council determines that’s not what they want to do at this time based on the feedback from the community, then we would not issue any debt," Storrs said.

With regards to any emergency funding during the COVID-19 emergency, Storrs says the City will make that decision when necessary.

“We are going to monitor things very closely, by all means," Storrs said. "We are very prudent with our finances, and as we see that revenues may start trending down, we are going to look at everything.”

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