Show Us the Money: N. Texas Cities Dream Big

Cities submit wish list for federal money

By Scott Gordon
|  Monday, Feb 9, 2009  |  Updated 10:04 PM CDT
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Show Us the Money: N. Texas Cities Dream Big

AP

Highway projects are on the wish list for cities hoping to get a piece of the federal stimulus package.

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From new fire stations to highway projects, North Texas cities have dreamed up billions of dollars in projects that the federal stimulus money could fund.

"We're ready to go," said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. "If Washington gets out of the starting blocks, we'll be ready to run the race."

According to the Web site stimuluswatch.org, Texas cities have proposed 1,240 projects totaling $10,775,423,039. The list comes from proposals cities sent to the U.S. Conference of Mayors several weeks ago.

Among North Texas cities, Fort Worth has the biggest request: $1.7 billion. Topping the list is a new commuter rail line for $471 million that would connect the city with DFW Airport.

Moncrief said the rail line would ease growing congestion.

"We can't build roads fast enough to serve the growing demands of this city," the mayor said.

Irving has the second highest plan: $1.2 billion. It proposes a hotel and office-residential complex in its "urban center" for $350 million.

Dallas, the largest city in the Metroplex, has the third highest proposal. Its top project is a convention center hotel for $386 million.

"That was just a sample of projects done very quickly," said Brett Wilkinson, intergovernmental affairs planner for the city of Dallas. "We don't have a list of projects yet. We're waiting to see what the final stimulus bill looks like."

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said the money should go to fund not only jobs in the short run, but also infrastructure improvements to help the economy in the long run.

"This is like doubling the descretionary spending of the federal government," Leppert said, "So we better get it right."

The city of Winnsboro, population 4,000, submitted a dream list of $134 million in projects. It includes $12 million to recruit a windmill production company and $10 million to restore schools.

"We figured if you don't ask, you definitely won't get it," said Winnsboro city administrator Nina Browning. "We went for it."

Winnsboro is about 100 miles east of Dallas.

Mayors cautioned against expecting too much, too soon.

"The stimulus money is not a sure thing," said Mayor Moncrief. "I learned a long time ago not to count your chickens before they're hatched or your money before it's in the bank."

Below is a list of projects, listed by the amount requested, according to stimuluswatch.org.

 

City Total Request Top Project Cost
Fort Worth $1,707,290,000 Rail Improvements Northeast-Southwest Rail $471M
Irving $1,287,330,340 335,737 sq. ft. "urban center" residential-office-hotel complex $350M
Dallas $1,222,823,840 Convention Center Hotel $386M
North Richland Hills $677,628,808 Improvements to Loop 820 $600M
Arlington $387,363,019 Convention Center Expansion $39M
Frisco $259,320,000 Build north section of FM 423 from Eldorado to US 380 $50M
Grand Prairie $115,076,000 Relocate Fire Station 7 $10M
Euless $104,336,300 Rebuild Radio System $21M
Allen $86,300,000 Inflation generated gap for Collin Co. Performing Arts Hall $20M
Hurst $45,316,510 Widen Pipeline Road from Precinct Line to east city limit $8M
Rowlett $43,493,796 6-lane div. road from Merrett Rd. to Bush Turnpike $33M
Bedford $39,205,000 New Library $8M
McKinney $33,018,000 Fire station number 8 $10M
Garland $23,336,640 Install Wastewater Relief sewer $4M
Mesquite $23,290,000 South Mesquite Creek sanitary sewer replacement $8M
Carrollton $8,000,000 Whitlock Road Reconstruction $5M
Blue Mound $6,500,000 Buy private water utility and update water infrastructure $4M
Flower Mound $1,536,180 Water, sewer and streets project $1.4M

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