City Manager John Ware recently presented the proposed budget to the City Council. If a budget can be exciting, then this is a budget to get excited about.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 enhances many City services while simultaneously reducing property taxes by an average of $15 on a $100,000 home. This is the result of a growth rate of 8.9 percent in the City’s tax roll, which can be attributed to the construction of new commercial properties and apartment complexes, as well as an increase in the number and value of automobiles on the tax rolls. In addition, sales tax revenues have maintained steady growth, indicating a healthy retail economy.

The $1.3 billion total budget continues to provide for the fundamental service areas of public safety, code enforcement and sanitation services. It also continues successful programs designed to stimulate the City’s economic growth, to improve the condition of streets, to support and expand cultural activities, and to enhance the quality of life throughout Dallas.

The proposed budget sharply increases the amount the City will spend to repair potholes. This year’s street maintenance program will be increased to $25 million. The amount more than doubles street maintenance funding over the last four years.

A $597,000 expansion of library services increases the library budget and increases library service hours. Eleven new staff members will be added to provide an additional four hours per week at each library. This is the first service hours increase for the library since 1986. Facility improvements are scheduled for the Central and Skyline branches.

Residents also will see improvements and increased investment in water operations and other projects.

The proposed Capital budget of $214,896,339 includes a sale of $54.7 million of general obligation bonds during November of this year. This sale completes the third and final year of the 1995 Bond Program, which was accelerated in accordance with a Council mandate last year.

The capital budget allows for improvements in fire facilities, flood protection, storm drainage and repairs to public facilities. Also included are improvements to Love Field, Red Bird Airport, the convention center and Union Station.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough space for me to cover all the details of the 2,000-page budget document. City staff and I will discuss the budget at a Town Hall meeting Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Casa View Library, 10355 Ferguson.

If you can’t attend, please write, fax or phone me with your questions about the budget. The District 9 Hotline number is 214-826-5100. Thank you, as always.


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