QUESTION: Why did El Centro spend so much money on the facelift for downtown when the rest of the city looks horrible compared to cities in the Coachella Valley? Shouldn't the city as a whole be beautified? — Unimpressed, El Centro
Which cities in the Coachella Valley are on your mind when you compare them to El Centro?
El Centro stacks up very well against Mecca and Coachella and is not all that far behind much of Indio. But we concede it doesn't fare as well against Palm Springs and other towns in that glitzy area.
It would be nice to spruce up the whole town but the makeover downtown cost a pretty penny — or a lot of pennies, $5 million worth.
None of the money came from the city's general fund, according to El Centro City Manager Abdel Salem.
It was redevelopment money, Salem said. The city Redevelopment Agency, downtown merchants and the city hope the sprucing up will result in more sales and property taxes.