First of all, I want to thank those of you who voted in last month’s election. I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to work for District 9, East Dallas and the entire City on numerous issues. And although I have enjoyed a terrific working relationship with both Councilmen McDaniel and Luna, I am excited about the opportunity to work with their replacements, Councilwoman Lill and Councilman Loza.
White Rock Lake Update
You may have heard that the bids for the lake dredging came in significantly over budget.
Apparently, there was something in the bid specifications, which were prepared by one of the largest engineering firms in the world, which was not agreeable to many of the dredging companies in the country. Thus, the companies did not bid.
The two companies that did complete the bids were asking 40 percent more than the planned budget (also prepared by the major engineering firm) for the job.
At this time, it appears that the dredging will be delayed by a month or so, but it does not endanger the project or the late summer 1999 completion date.
The Nasher Sculpture Garden
In town hall meetings, I mentioned that as Chair of Arts, Education and Libraries for the City, I was among a team of people asking Ray Nasher to donate his world renowned art and sculpture collection to the City.
In April, Mr. Nasher decided he would spend $32 million of his own money to build the garden on land adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the Arts District. Some of that money will also be used over the years for conservation of the art pieces.
Mr. Nasher will provide 66 pieces of sculpture for extended use by the City, and there should be 30 to 40 pieces on display at any time.
The sculpture garden will be a very significant aesthetic enhancement to the Arts District and Downtown overall. And don’t forget that a healthy, thriving Downtown community helps maintain good market value for the homes in East Dallas!
And for anyone who isn’t interested in modern art, especially when the streets are in such bad shape, I hope you realize the garden will benefit everyone. The accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche generously performed a study of the cultural arts in the North Texas region approximately three years ago that showed the arts add $450 million to the annual economy.
This $450 million significantly adds to our tax base, which means there is more money to go around for every project and service that we need in Dallas – including fire, streets, flood control and much more.
The Nasher Garden will enhance the international significance of Dallas as a cultural community. Therefore, it will further attract visitors from all over the country and the world to Dallas. That means that many of these visitors will pay for hotel rooms, rental cars, meals in restaurants and souvenirs in Dallas.
The Nasher Garden should be completed in 1999, which is already looking like a very big year for Dallas. In 1999, we will finish dredging White Rock Lake, open the Hispanic Cultural Center, and celebrate the 100th birthday of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Ready To Lend A Helping Hand
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve another term at City Hall. Please always let me know how I can be of assistance to you. You can reach me at 214-670-4069 at City Hall, or you can leave me a voice mail at 214-826-5100. Also, for emergencies other than police and fire, please call me at home, 826-0779.
If something needs immediate attention, such as a power line that has been knocked down or a traffic signal that is out at a major intersection, I can utilize some emergency City numbers to get you some help right away.
I am happy to do that for you.
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