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.
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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|
|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|