Northeast Tarrant

$34.4 million bond package would help modernize Haltom City facilities

Plans to build new homes, luxury apartments and hotels in Haltom City is driving the need to replace an outdated fire station and build a new combined city hall and police department.

The City Council unanimously voted this week to call a $34.4 million bond election for May 5.

Approving the bond package would be a “vote of confidence from our citizens,” Mayor David Averitt said.

“I think this is a fantastic opportunity to modernize our facilities. I hope this will give us a competitive edge,” he said.

The two propositions on the ballot will be $28.9 million to build the combined city complex and police department and $5.5 million to replace Fire Station No. 3.

Assistant City Manager Rex Phelps said Haltom City owns land for the new combined complex, which would be be built at the northwest corner of Haltom Road at Glenview Drive, and the new fire station would be across the highway from the current building at 4940 Northeast Loop 820.

The completion of the North Tarrant Express expansion in Haltom City made it possible for the growth to come.

Phelps said conservative projections show that Haltom City’s population will increase from approximately 44,000 to 50,000 in the next 10 years.

In the coming years, Haltom City will see over 200 high-end homes built on the west side of Haltom Road north of Loop 820, along with luxury apartments geared toward young professionals, Averitt said.

Plans are also underway to build three hotels, along with sit-down restaurants.

The city hall and police department were built in the 1950s and 1960s and are outdated.

The fire station, which serves north Haltom City, is unique as it was built inside a water tower in 1983.

Once state-of-the-art, the fire station is outdated, with poor ventilation and not enough room for the ladder trucks and engines needed to handle fires and rescues in the luxury apartment complexes and hotels that are coming.

The fire station also does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

Fire Chief Perry Bynum said the poor ventilation causes exhaust to build up when a truck is started, which means firefighters are exposed to carcinogens. There is a concern about cancer in the fire service, he said.

If the bond package passes, residents could see a 2-cent property tax rate increase, but those details are still being discussed, Phelps said.

This article contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Elizabeth Campbell: 817-390-7696, @fwstliz

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