Fort Worth adjusts value of bond package, adds East Side library

Posted Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth is adjusting total capacity for its May 2014 bond election to $292 million from $296 million, and shifting the remaining $4 million into a debt sale this summer.

“We’re not changing any of the projects” that the staff has recommended for the bond program as a result of the debt shift, Jay Chapa, the city’s acting financial management services director, said Saturday.

“We just went in and changed some of the contingency (amounts) on the projects,” he said.

The staff had recommended $293 million in projects and expected to take up the full $296 million by the time the City Council votes on the final package in December, Chapa said.

Saturday was the first of 19 public workshops on the bond program.

New to the staff-recommended list and unveiled Saturday: $1.8 million for an East Lancaster Avenue/Oakland Boulevard library sought by council member Kelly Allen Gray, who represents the southeast District 8.

Chapa said the $1.8 million, subtracted from staff-recommended money for District 8 transportation projects in the bond package, would pay for purchasing and renovating an existing building.

Gray said she is hoping to find a public-private partnership that can fully fund a new library.

“It would be a huge asset as we work to redevelop East Lancaster,” she said.

The city is holding the workshops to collect feedback on the staff recommendations and get ideas for other projects citizens want funded.

"It is in no way a final list, and it won't be a final list until December," Joe Komisarz, the assistant financial management services director, told the audience at the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods.

Among District 8 projects residents asked for during Saturday’s workshop: reopening the Hillside and Sycamore swimming pools or building a new aquatics center, street and lights maintenance, and sidewalks around Delga Park in the Greenway neighborhood.

Komisarz told the audience that City Hall has heard support for full funding on several major parks projects that currently have seed funding in the staff recommendations: Chisholm Trail Park in southwest Fort Worth, Como Community Center in Como, Z Boaz Park on the West Side, and Rockwood Golf Course reconstruction.

There’s also been support for more citywide trails and other community center projects beyond what’s in the staff recommendations, Komisarz said.

The city will repay the bonds using the 20 percent of property tax dollars that are dedicated to debt service.

Scott Nishimura, (817) 390-7808 Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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