Recommended Dallas Bond Referendum Includes More Street Repair

City manager ups borrowing program to $600 million

Street repair would get more money in the expanded 2012 Dallas public improvement bond program recommended this week.

Forest Lane would receive a $5,258,700 reconstruction between Marsh Lane and High Meadow Drive in the plan sent to the Dallas City Council this week.

The road has severe cracks and many bumpy patches.

"It's been this way for years," said Forest Lane driver B.J. Fischer. "You have to maintain them, it's as simple as that. A bond program to fix these city streets, I would be all for it."

City Manager Mary Suhm now recommends a $600 million borrowing program instead of the $500 million she recommended in January.

Flood control would still get nearly $334 million but most of the additional money added to the program would go toward street repair.

"It's a ridiculous amount of money but it has to be done, so I don't think we have any choice," said Forest Lane driver Nina Lynn.

Officials say the city can afford more because sales tax revenue has been improving and property tax revenue forecasts are better than expected.

Voters last approved a capital improvement bond referendum for more than $1.2 billion in 2006.

But since then the Dallas needs inventory has grown larger, from $6 billion to $10 billion.

Councilman Tennell Atkins hopes the 2012 bond package to tackle some of those needs can be increased.

"If there's the opportunity to do more I think it should be more," said Atkins.

Atkins said Dallas needs better streets to compete with faster growing suburbs for economic development and new residents.

"They're not going to come when they drive down the street in their very expensive cars and they get a blow out. They're not going to come. They'll go elsewhere," Atkins said.

Dallas voters will decide whether this plan is necessary at the polls in November.

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