Fort Worth has a five-year capital improvement plan– now city officials just need $400 million to pay for it.
Voters will be asked to approve six propositions totaling the amount in the May 5 municipal election. Most of the money, $261 million, is for street infrastructure improvement. The rest will apply to the following improvements:
- $84 million for parks and recreation improvements– this includes $3 million for a new community park in far north Fort Worth, $2.5 million for Chisholm Trail Park in southwest Fort Worth and $1.3 million for utility infrastructure work at the city-owned zoo.
- $9.9 million for public library improvements– this comprises $9.9 million for a new library in the far southwest.
- $12 million for fire safety improvements– this includes more than $5.3 million to demolish fire station 26 and $6.4 to build fire station 45.
- $14 million for animal care and shelter facility improvements
- $18 million for police facility improvements
Roger Venables, who oversees Fort Worth’s property management as assistant director, said the bond program develops and maintains the city’s infrastructure, especially roads that need repaving or additional lanes.
Venables said the city began developing the bond proposal two years ago.
He said department needs totaled about $1.6 billion, which were sifted through and prioritized. Ultimately the proposal is a compromise of what the city council and the community wanted to see, he said.
Fort Worth resident Shirley Turner said she supports the bond and encourages people to vote for it, even if they don’t know much about the bond.
“I know there’s always so much waste, but you really have to vote for every bond package just to keep even,” said Turner. “We’re not keeping pace, and we need to. I mean the city of Fort Worth is growing so much. Our streets need work especially.”
The projected end date for all improvements is 2023. Projects will be staggered so as not to negatively impact the city’s operational budget each year, Venables said.
“You’ll always have a little overlap; things will come up. But that’s our target,” he said. “For instance, the 2014 bond, I think we are about 65 percent complete on that, but making good progress. So , that’s our goal, that’s our projections.”
The city is hosting six public education meetings where residents can ask questions about the bond project and how it will directly affect their community.