Keller budgeting for parks, trails improvements

The Mount Gilead Greenwalk was one trail the Keller Development Corp. completed during fiscal year 2018-19.

The Mount Gilead Greenwalk was one trail the Keller Development Corp. completed during fiscal year 2018-19.

Keller Development Corp. is expecting a surplus of revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year and plans to use the additional funding to improve parks and trails across the city.

The corporation, which administers Keller’s half-cent sales tax used for park development, presented its proposed 2019-20 budget at Keller City Council’s July 16 meeting. The corporation expects revenue of about $3.3 million during the fiscal year.

The KDC plans to use around $715,000 of that money on improvement projects. The majority---$250,000---will be used to expand the city’s hike and bike trails. According to the KDC’s budget, the city plans to prioritize missing trail segments. It has not identified which trails might be extended.

The corporation is also proposing improvements to a parking lot at Keller Sports Park. And it plans to upgrade aging playgrounds in FY 2019-20 and the years ahead.

The KDC has set aside $100,000 for other replacement projects that could include improving pavilions, restrooms, shade structures and other equipment as needed.

Additionally, the corporation set aside $239,000 to replace maintenance equipment for its parks facilities. The funds will be used to replace mowers, tractors and other utility vehicles.

Another $76,814 is budgeted for maintenance and operations of parks facilities, and about $1.58 million has been earmarked for debt service.

After expenditures in the upcoming fiscal year, the KDC is expected to have $3.11 million in reserves by Sept. 30, 2020. That is an increase of $684,548 over projected reserves on Sept. 30, 2019. The reserve funds can be used for upcoming projects.

The KDC also presented proposed projects through FY 2023-24. Some of the corporation’s plans include additional parking lot and playground improvements, trail extensions, park upgrades and equipment replacement.

“The KDC budget is about ongoing maintenance and improvement to ensure the city’s parks system is meeting the needs and expectations of our citizens,” Director of Community Services Cody Maberry said. “In the years ahead, our residents will see us extending the trails system, investing in parks citywide, improving parking amenities at the sports park and bolstering the fund balance to prepare for larger projects on the horizon.”

The KDC’s budget will be officially adopted with the city of Keller’s full FY 2019-20 budget. City Council is expected to vote on the budget at its Sept. 17 meeting.
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