Join Me at City Budget Townhalls

I will be holding two townhall meetings to discuss the City Manager’s proposed budget for 2012-13 (our fiscal year starts in October).  I hope you’ll join me and tell your neighbors:

Thursday, August 23
6:30 p.m.  – 8 p.m.
Arlington Hall in Lee Park
3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.

Tuesday, August 28
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Drama Room (joint meeting with Councilmember Sheffie Kadane)
6306 Kenwood Ave.

Highlights from the City Manager’s proposed budget:

TAXES AND FEES

  • No property tax rate increase
  • Water bill increase of 3.9% for residential customers (81% of residential customers will see an average monthly bill increase of $3.61 or less)
  • No increase in sanitation or storm water fees

POLICE AND FIRE

  • Add 200 police officers and 90 fire recruits to replace those leaving the force

STREETS

  • Continue routine maintenance; restoration and rehabilitation; concrete street, alley, curb and gutter repairs; and ROW mowing/sweeping
  • Improve street striping, school crosswalks, reflective buttons, and intersection signage
  • Expand bike lane markings and improve development of trails

PARKS

  • Rec centers – 40 centers will be open, including 13 of 14 that were closed for renovation last year
  • Swimming pools – no change to hours or locations
  • Park maintenance – no change to services

LIBRARIES

  • Central Library – maintain 40 hours per week
  • Neighborhood Libraries – maintain 40 hours per week
  • DISD shared libraries – maintain 56.25 hours per week
  • Increase materials funding by 47% or $1.0m

DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

  • Add 57 new positions in Building Inspection in response to increased permit/construction activity
  • Implement technology improvements for faster plan review, enhanced customer service, replacement of outdated equipment and replacement of a document management system
  • Continue phasing Historic Preservation cost from Building Inspection to General Fund

ANIMAL SERVICES

  • Additional animal control officers and HVAC maintenance at Animal Shelter funded

ARTS

  • City Performance Hall will open in September 2012
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center – increased to fully fund contracted amount

OTHER CITY SERVICES

  • Increase demolition of blighted structures
  • Improve restaurant and bar inspection program
  • Implement boarding house ordinance
  • Eliminate Mandatory City Leave days
  • 3-1-1 – Upgrade system to streamline processes and allow service requests via smart phones
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