Dallas Officials Prep Priority List of Bond Projects

Road Work Ahead Sign | Image by Geert Verhoeff/Shutterstock
Road Work Ahead Sign | Image by Geert Verhoeff/Shutterstock

Dallas officials are preparing a priority project list from the $1.2 billion in propositions voters approved in May.

“The Office of Bond and Construction Management has been working with … several City infrastructure departments to develop a prioritized list of projects that will be funded and completed within the next five … years,” according to a May memo from Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry.

“Coordination among the client and project-executing departments will continue to be emphasized to ensure that the prioritization process is comprehensive and balanced, both financially and logistically, while also identifying potential scope or budget overlaps that may provide opportunities for cost savings and increased construction efficiency.”

On May 4, voters approved all 10 propositions on the ballot. In the memo, Al-Ghafry said staff “will be completing the priority matrix and prioritized list of projects” for the Dallas City Council in June based on the source of funding, overlapping projects, design status, projects focused on equity, and projects with longer design and completion processes.

Meanwhile, some of the more than 1,400 projects spread across 10 propositions in the $1.05 billion bond package from seven years ago have not been completed. Jennifer Nicewander, director of the Office of Bond and Construction Management, told CandysDirt.com that City officials sell the bonds over 20 years, with the expectation the projects will be sustained at least for that long.

“The City currently plans to issue bonds from the 2024 Bond Program in Fiscal Year 2024-2025,” according to the Office of Bond Construction and Management website. “Project construction will start within months of the first issuance of general obligation bonds from the 2024 Bond Program. Street resurfacing projects are usually the first projects you will see. Some projects will take longer due to the need to plan, design, and acquire property.”

Already billions of dollars in debt, the City of Dallas is estimated to pay an additional $5 million in interest over the life of the $1.2 billion bond. With a total tax rate of $0.7357, the interest and sinking rate is $0.2040, and that is the portion (debt service) used to make principal and interest payments on the bonds. This fiscal year, the total projected debt service is $420.6 million.

Dallas’ budget is $4.6 billion, and CFO Jack Ireland has said the City faces nearly $40 million in shortfalls over the next two fiscal years.

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