Fort Worth is adjusting total capacity for its May 2014 bond election to $292 million from $296 million, and will instead shift the remaining $4 million into a debt sale this summer.
“We’re not changing any of the projects” 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 before the first of 19 public workshops Fort Worth is hosting this summer and fall on the bond program.
“We just went in and changed some of the contingency (amounts) on the projects,” he said. Here are lists of what's in the staff recommendations, and the schedule of public meetings.
The city staff had identified $293 million in recommended projects and expected to take up the full $296 million by the time the City Council votes on the final packages this December, Chapa said.
New to the staff-recommended list and unveiled Saturday: $1.8 million for an East Lancaster Avenue/Oakland Boulevard library that Council member Kelly Allen Gray, who represents the Southeast District 8, has asked for.
Chapa said the $1.8 million – subtracted from staff-recommended money for streets and other transportation for District 8 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, at $4-4.5 million.
“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 at the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods: reopening the Hillside and Sycamore swimming pools or building a new aquatics center, street and light maintenance, and sidewalks around Delga Park in the Greenway neighborhood.
Komisarz told the audience 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. Taxpayers won't see an increase in their tax rates from the bond package.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter