Dallas residents will likely be asked to consider an $800 million Capital Bond Program. If approved by voters, the City issued debt will support key projects in five categories: Streets; Parks and Trails; Flood Control and Storm Drainage; Critical Facilities (Public Safety, Libraries, Cultural Facilities, and City Facilities); and Economic Development and Housing. Please know there is no recommended increase in the City’s Tax Rate to support the 2017 Capital Bond Program.
Earlier this year, the Mayor and City Council selected 15 citizens to serve on the Citizens Bond Task Force and 15 for each of the key Subcommittees for a total of 90. The Task Force and each of the five subcommittees met to evaluate, discuss and recommend projects for each proposition in the 2017 Capital Bond Program. The following individuals served on the Park and Trails Subcommittee:
Parks and Trails Subcommittee
Chair Bobby Abtahi
Council District 1 Fred Peña
Council District 2 Jesse Moreno
Council District 3 A.J. Johnson
Council District 4 Joseph Deans
Council District 5 Brian Spencer
Council District 6 Linda Neel
Council District 7 Sean D. Johnson
Council District 8 LaShanté Williams
Council District 9 Jesse Smith
Council District 10 Robb Stewart
Council District 11 Amy Monier (Vice Chair)
Council District 12 Robert T. Richard
Council District 13 Crayton Webb
Council District 14 Paul Sims
The Parks and Trails Subcommittee voted unanimously to request that the Citizen Bond Task Force add an additional $147.5M to the suggested $120M allocation for Parks and Trails to take advantage of all of the match funding opportunities. This would allow full funding for match commitments for important projects like the Circuit Trail (The LOOP), Midtown Park, the Zoo and the Arboretum and the Southern Gateway Green/Deck Park, just to name a few.
The extra $147.5M would bring an additional $301M in private and other governmental funds. These projects touch all aspects of our current bond program and would also provide a substantial economic benefit to the City of Dallas, as proven by examples such as Klyde Warren Park and the Katy Trail.
The Dallas Park and Recreation Department has not had a bond program in 11 years. Dallas currently ranks last on a list of 20 major cities on capital spending per resident for parks.
For every $1 invested in Parks it provides an economic return to our city of $7, while our trails provide an economic impact to our city at a rate of $1 to $50 return on investment.
I invite you to look at the Park and Trail Subcommittee’s recommendations, and I thank them for their work.
2017 City of Dallas Bond Program: Parks and Trails Subcommittee Presentation