While Some Cities Struggle, Arlington Sees Surplus

Arlington officials are considering how to spend nearly a $3 million surplus

By Mola Lenghi
|  Monday, Jan 9, 2012  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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City officials credit several factors for Arlington's $3 million surplus.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist

City officials credit several factors for Arlington's $3 million surplus.

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Arlington has money to spend -- the city is nearly $3 million in the black.

"We've been very responsible with the tax dollars that we've had coming in and by keeping a tight rein on expenditures," Councilman Jimmy Bennett said.

The city has also benefited from an increase in sales tax revenue and city fees, such as building permits, and fines from regular traffic stops, not to mention playing host to two major revenue generators in 2011 -- the World Series and the Super Bowl.

Now the question the city has to answer is what to do with the extra funds, though officials say it's certainly not a bad spot to be in.

"We're fortunate to be in this position," Bennett said. "I hope we avoid those reoccurring costs that can sometimes strap you into the future. But there are a number of things we can do for our infrastructure and our city."

From fire and police agencies to schools to countless other city services, officials will consider where the biggest impact can be made.

While $3 million may seem like a lot of money, in the context of a city budget, is it a lot?

"In relative terms no," Bennett said. "But you should never dismiss the significance of $3 million. It can be very impactful to the lives of those with whom these dollars will be directed."

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