Fort Worth

Fort Worth voters overwhelmingly approve 6 bond proposals to fix streets, parks

Fort Worth's $399.5 million bond propositions won easy approval Saturday, meaning Fort Worth motorists can expect more road construction in the next five years.

The largest question, $261.6 million for new streets and to fix older ones was won by 81 percent, in unofficial returns.

Parts of Fort Worth are in Denton and Parker counties. All the propositions won by wide margins in Denton County, but no votes were cast in Parker County.

"Fort Worth's future got brighter with the passing of our 2018 program," Mayor Betsy Price said. "Over the next five years, citizens will see these capital projects underway in their neighborhoods. From infrastructure improvements to new community centers, the bond will improve everyday quality-of-life and public safety throughout all of Fort Worth.”

Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement thanking the citizens who voted.

"Our community is what we make it and this vote shows a strong commitment to make it great," he said. "The infrastructure improvement bonds passed today are a win-win for our neighborhoods, our city and our local economy."

Fort Worth voters have approved all eight of the bond packages presented since 1982. With 110 of the 112 precinct reporting Saturday night, 18,121, voters cast ballots, 4 percent of registered voters.

Projects in this bond program will be carried out over a five years, but it will take about 20 years to pay off the debt, the city said. The projects were selected from a $1.6 billion wish list.

Fort Worth said it will not raise property tax rates to support the bond debt.

In addition to streets, it's divided by categories:

$84.2 million in park and recreation improvements was leading with 74 percent in favor.

$9.8 million for library improvements was leading with 76 percent in favor.

$11.9 for fire safety improvements was leading with 83 percent in favor.

$13.7 million for a new animal care center in north Fort Worth was leading with 74 percent in favor.

$18 million for police facility improvements was leading with 81 percent in favor.

Under the streets proposal, money is planned for improvements at a dozen intersections, adding and upgrading traffic signals in nine locations and adding several roundabouts, particularly in north Fort Worth, to improve traffic flow on congested streets.

Proposed street projects

City staff has a proposed list of 112 street rebuilding projects that will be included in the 2018 bond program. Residents will vote May 8 on the bond propositions. Click on red roads for more details.

In the park and recreation proposition, $28.8 million will be spent to improve 19 neighborhood and community parks, athletic fields and the Trinity Trails. Another $27.7 million will be spent on building the new Northwest Community Center and Diamond Hill Community Center, as well as renovating the Northside and Sycamore community centers. Another $7.7 million will be spent to build a clubhouse at the rebuilt city-owned Rockwood golf course, and $4.5 million will be spent to buy more park land.

A new library is planned in far southwest Fort Worth, and two fire stations and one police station are in the works. Just under $5.3 million will be set aside for the city's public art program, with those projects tied to bond projects.

Sandra Baker: 817-390-7727, @SandraBakerFWST
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