Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Dallas city leaders want voters to look to the bottom of Tuesday s ballot for three public improvement bond propositions to pay for storm drainage, street improvements and economic development.
Dallas city leaders want voters to look to the bottom of Tuesday's ballot for three public improvement bond propositions.
The total of $642 million would provide the city with borrowed money for better storm drainage, road improvements and economic development.
The street improvements include $12 million to refurbish the old Houston Street Viaduct between downtown and Oak Cliff and make it ready for a planned streetcar line on Zang Boulevard.
The line would go to Methodist Hospital at first but extend to other parts of Oak Cliff later.
Some bus riders at a proposed stop on Zang Boulevard had not heard about the bond vote, and they had mixed opinions about the investment for a streetcar system.
"Bonds are not exciting, but I would like the trolley," bus rider Ricardo Vargas said. "I think it would be a good thing for the Oak Cliff community."
But rider Constance Morris said the buses are fine and questioned the bond issue investments.
"It should be for people getting more jobs," she said. "I'm looking for a job myself, and it's very competitive, and I think the money should be going toward something else."
Supporters say the economic development proposition is intended to help create jobs by supporting development in vacant areas of Dallas.
"If we want to make Southern Dallas continue to grow, this bond election is critical," Mayor Mike Rawlings said.
Storm drainage is the largest of the three propositions. It includes a project of about $300 million to help solve severe flooding around the Baylor Medical Center.
A March 2006 flood swamped the area, and water has also isolated the hospital's emergency room at other times.
The three propositions at the bottom of the ballot require a yes or no, independent of the party-line votes for candidates that appear earlier.
Rawlings said he is confident that voters will not overlook the referendum.
"I'm always concerned in every election, but I think we're getting the word out and they understand this bond election is there, and I think we've got interested civic voters out there," he said.
Supporters have raised money for a campaign but no large, organized opposition to the propositions has surfaced.