Fort Worth’s proposed bond package is increased to $293 million, adding street, parks projects

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The city is increasing its planned May 2014 bond package by $17 million to $293 million, boosting money for transportation and adding several parks projects.

Among the projects added are rebuilding the historic Rockwood Golf course; providing half the funds needed for a new Como Community Center; and seed money for development of the Chisholm Trail Park on the southwest side. It also includes most of the money for a dog park on in west Fort Worth; expansion of the Eugene McCray Community Center in southeast Fort Worth; and parking for Trail Drivers Park on the North Side.

The council had a bond workshop Monday.

Some City Council members, who said earlier this year that they wanted to increase the 20 percent of the bond package going to projects other than transportation, said they still weren’t happy with the $22.3 million for parks in the staff’s recommendations.

Councilman Jungus Jordan renewed his criticism of a 2 percent public art allocation that the council has built into bond packages since a 2003 ordinance. This bond package includes nearly $6 million for public art, which Jordan said he would prefer to spend on transportation and parks. The staff recommended $2.2 million for Chisholm Trail Park in Jordan’s district; he wants $4 million.

“I think we have higher priorities than discretionary monies for public art,” Jordan said after the workshop.

The city will take the staff’s recommendations on a neighborhood road show this summer and fall, leading to a council vote in December on the final package.

“The only hard number in here is the [$293 million] number,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “The movement within that number is up to the public and to us.”

Jordan has been trying to drum up council support for a review of the public art money. Councilman Dennis Shingleton asked Monday for a staff report on the council’s options. Price said she supported a review and wants the public to weigh in.

Jay Chapa, the city’s interim financial management services director, said the partial money for several projects is a way to start partnerships.

The staff increased the bond package by recommending the city not sell $19.4 million of an expected debt sale this summer.

Of the $293 million, $206 million would go to transportation, up $10 million.

The staff’s earlier parks recommendations included redevelopment of Heritage Park in a partnership, roads and parking, security lighting, an extension of the Trinity Trails system to Arlington’s River Legacy Park, playground replacements and athletic fields.

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

New Fort Worth bond package recommendations

Chisholm Trail Park, $2 million. Trails, fishing docks, other improvements.

Z Boaz Park, Ridglea, $500,000. Priority is an $850,000, 10-acre dog park and parking. The city has set aside $160,000 from gas revenues.

Como Community Center, $3.5 million toward the $7 million cost of relocating the heavily used, aging center.

Rockwood Golf Course, $2.2 million toward rebuilding and lengthening the 18-hole course.

McCray Community Center, $800,000 for a 3,900-square-foot expansion, kitchen renovation, and parking.

Trail Driver’s Park, $220,000 for parking.

Twitter:@jscottnishimura

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