Plano Seeking Corporate Sponsors

Budget cuts have city looking for revenue

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Oct 20, 2011  |  Updated 6:43 PM CDT
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The city of Plano has come up with a creative way to raise money.

Catherine Ross, nbcdfw.com

The city of Plano has come up with a creative way to raise money.

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Public property may soon be for sale in Plano -- so to speak.

Plano is looking for five corporate sponsors interested in supporting the city's general fund. The sponsorships would include naming rights for public parks and recreation centers.

"Five years ago, we probably would never have considered this, but times have changed," City Manager Bruce Glasscock said.

While Plano has plenty of public facilities, it lacks the "green" to support them.

"Since the last three, three and a half years, we've cut about $40 million from our general fund budget," Glasscock said.

Other cities around the country and in North Texas have had some success with sponsorships.

"We're looking at $1 million over a five-year period that would go to the general fund," Glasscock said.

The city isn't the only one looking to sponsors. The Plano location of Signs Now said it sees more clients looking for private sponsorships to make ends meet.

"They are coming in more and more with the corporate sponsorships because they're suffering," said Amy Lankford, site manager. "The public sector isn't there to step up the way it used to be."

Plano said it hopes to find five companies headquartered within the city limits to contribute over five years.

The money isn't earmarked, and its presence in the general fund would help the city balance a classic conundrum.

"People don't want their taxes raised, but they want services maintained," Glasscock said.

He said any potential signage would be tasteful.

Glasscock also said the city is cognizant of potential conflicts of interest when dealing with large contracts and corporations and would work carefully to avoid any problems.

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