The Dallas City Council approved spending $70,198,782 of taxpayer money for a variety of programs and projects during Wednesday’s meeting on March 8.
Of these funds, $5.8 million came from a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and $2.6 million came from federal COVID-19 relief funds, both of which are drawn from federal taxpayer dollars. The remaining $61.8 million came from the pockets of the Dallas taxpayer.
Big ticket items included contracts for City facilities construction, infrastructure projects, drainage improvements, and a new public park.
The City Council authorized $25 million for construction services at City facilities, with Metco Engineering, Brown & Root Industrial Services, RS Commercial Construction, 3i Contracting, Phoenix I Restoration and Construction, and Big Sky Construction. The initial contracts will last two years but include three one-year renewal options.
Other infrastructure spending was approved to the tune of over $7.3 million, including sidewalk widening projects and installing pedestrian streetlights at crosswalks. Council members also green-lit $8.4 million for erosion control and storm drainage improvements at 13 locations throughout Dallas.
The City further allocated $5.5 million for the design and construction of a new City park at the corner of Forest Lane and Audelia Road.
The council authorized $551,000 and $303,000 to settle two separate eminent domain cases in which the City seized control of properties on both Keist Boulevard and Morrell Avenue for the Dallas Floodway Extension Project.
In addition, the council approved moving forward with acquiring sand and gravel rights for another piece of property to be used for the Dallas Floodway Project, costing about $4,000.
The City authorized spending an additional $396,000 to purchase a property from Dallas ISD, bringing the total cost of the transaction to $4,574,000. The council also approved spending $225,000 on expanding the Lamar Levee. Both of these items are related to the Dallas Floodway Extension Project.
City Hall extended an existing lease for office space at 2121 Main Street for $3.2 million and spent $3.2 million on street reconstruction on North Munger Boulevard. Estrada Concrete will handle the construction.
An additional $2 million of tax dollars were directed toward “internet access and digital literacy skills” for people who were “disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” particularly people who come from lower-income households.
The City Council contributed $194,000 to a funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for traffic signal upgrades throughout the City. The total funding agreement amounts to $2.5 million, but on Wednesday the council simply approved the allocation of $194,000 taken from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Along with these items, the City Council approved spending on the following:
- $248,000 — Parking lot and drainage upgrades at Dallas Love-Field Airport
- $358,000 — Traffic signal design for six intersections.
- $850,000 — A three-year cyber security software subscription.
- $2.8 million — Purchasing fleet trailers for the Department of Sanitation Services.
- $1.5 million — Purchasing asphalt emulsion for the Department of Public Works.
- $2.1 million — Renewing for one-year an existing agreement for purchasing rugged mobile computers.
- $1.6 million — Repairing a thermal storage tank for the Department of Aviation
- $750,000 — Providing dental care for seniors over the age of 60
- $1 million — Specialized response training for Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Water Utilities Department from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
- $1.1 million — Maintenance of computers, software, and handheld meter-reading devices for the Water Utilities Department
- $428,000 — Hiring temporary workers for the Parks & Recreation Department
- $599,000 — Architectural and engineering services for the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park
As I understand it, the next time Dallas City Council has an Agenda/Briefing meeting will be a month away, April 12th.
Much thanks to Noah DeGarmo for on-the-ground reporting.
It is interesting that people in power love to freely spend other people’s money.
That said, I am not opposed to maintaining important infrastructure.
However, I often feel that Council Members forget that they are public servants and employed by the people. The Public is their employer – they are employees.
My impression regarding the Dallas Water Utilities spending… it comes from a separate account structure.
Fact Sheet Quote:
City of Dallas Water Utilities is a not-for-profit department of the City of Dallas providing water, wastewater, and storm drainage services to about 2.6 million people in Dallas and 27 nearby communities.
Its operations are funded through water, wastewater and stormwater rates paid by customers. Customers’ water use is metered to ensure accurate billing.
I agree with you, they act like they Vote the citizens in. They quickly forget that we voted them in. Arrogance of Power, Extreme Wealth and double talk which means nothing but lie’s. Spot on!
While this article about spending does properly cite the contributions from TXDOT and Fed Covid funds, there is no distinction made between capital expenditures which may well be funded by existing bond issues and those expenditures that will be part of the current operations budget.
Why in Hades are cities still getting C19 relief funds from the federal government?
I want to see an accounting of where that money is going, for what specific expenses and to whom.
Typical governmental largesse that is everlasting.
Looks like infrastructure and maintenance spending. I am good with that. I would like to see some over sight to make sure we are not getting soaked by the vendors. Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be anything egregious.
What they need is a lot more police officers. Nice roads and sidewalks aren’t much use if people aren’t safe.
I’m sorry did I miss the amount approved for homelessness? That’s just about right! I COULDN’T BE MORE ASHAMED AND DISGUSTED WITH MY CITY!