The City wants to sell bonds to finance construction of needed improvements in Dallas. You, the voters, must approve this action in a Bond Election May 6, 1995.
The City Council is in the process of identifying the projects that are most desired by citizens to be included in the bond program. Your input is necessary to develop the list of projects.
Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about bond programs. For more information, please call 744-3600.
- What is a bond election and how is it different from the bond program?
The bond election is the specific act of voters approving the sale of General Obligation bonds to finance projects. The bond program is a package of projects that the voters vote on in the bond election. Typically, a ballot contains a series of propositions and each one receives an individual vote. The proposition describes the projects to be funded with specific sites where possible.
- Why do we have bond elections?
Bond elections are held as needed for voters to approve the financing of City capital improvements. Bonds provide long-term financing for capital improvement projects. Instead of paying with existing revenue, the City makes payments over the life of the projects, typically 20 to 30 years.
- What can bond funds be used for?
Bond projects improve the quality of life for citizens – they must fulfill a legitimate public purpose. Funds from the sale of voter-approved bonds can only be used for those public improvements on the ballot.
In the past, the City has used bond funds for street reconstruction and resurfacing, drainage projects and petition curbs, street lighting, sidewalks and gutters.
Bond funds are also used for construction and improvement of public facilities such as libraries and fire stations. Park and zoo improvements have been funded, as well. Bond funds may also be used for other special public projects approved by the voters, such as cultural facilities.
Economic development projects also can benefit from bonds by funding related infrastructure improvements. They could also be used for housing construction, if approved by voters.
- What capital improvement projects are being considered for East Dallas?
Specific projects under consideration include dredging White Rock Lake, extending the McKinney Avenue trolley to Cityplace, the reconstruction of Haskell Boulevard and repairing Fair Park buildings.
Other projects could include alley paving, street repairs, curbs and sidewalks. Our goal is to have the bond program meet the specific needs of our citizens.
- How will the City pay for these bonds?
The City pays general obligation bonds with property tax revenue. However, the money borrowed is repaid with interest and is set aside as part of the budget and is not available for operating expenses.
- Will all the bonds be sold immediately if they are approved on May 6?
The propositions on the ballot constitute a flexible, long-term capital improvement program that invests in Dallas’ quality of life. The City will implement the program and sell the bonds only as money is needed for the approved projects, as the financial support base allows, and as bond market conditions become favorable. Typically, bond programs are implemented over several years.
- How can citizens include projects important to their communities in the bond election?
For the 1995 bond election, there was a series of meetings for citizen input, but if you missed them, requests can be made to your Councilman or the City Manager’s Office. While not all citizen requests can be included in the bond program, they will be considered.
At least one public hearing is held at City Hall after the City Manager has presented his recommendations to the Council. You can also write or call your Councilman directly with your input or fax a letter to us at (214) 670-5115.
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