Fort Worth looking to put $560M bond package for capital projects on May ballot
The city of Fort Worth's $500 million bond program initially proposed for the May 7 election now sits at $560 million after increases were made on a variety of proposed capital projects, from roads and parks to libraries and public safety facilities. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Revisions were unveiled at the council work session on Jan. 18. The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to vote Feb. 8 on the final package that will be presented to voters.
The bond program will have five to seven separate measures for voters to consider.
Streets and pedestrian mobility infrastructure make up 66% of the total bond package. The $369 million worth of projects range from improvements to arterial streets and intersections to traffic signals, sidewalks and bicycle facilities.
Parks and recreation projects make up about 19%, or $106 million, in the proposed package. Among the projects targeted for improvements are Kingsridge and Kingsridge West, Timberland Park and the Botanic Gardens.
Fire safety improvements, 4% of the bond, increased to $20 million and include funds for land acquisitions for fire stations 16 and 37. Public libraries, 2% of the bond, increased to $18.9 million and would include land acquisition, design and construction of of an 18,000-square-foot library in the northwest part of the city. Police facility improvements are proposed at $18.9 million, or about 3% of the total bond package.
The Jan. 18 proposal showed a standalone bond measure for the $17.8 million Stop Six Hub Community Center in east Fort Worth rather than including it as part of the citywide parks and recreation bond measure. District 5 Council Member Gyna Bivens objected, saying the center should be included in one measure with the other parks and recreation projects.
Roger Venables, director of aviation for the city of Fort Worth, who made the Jan. 18 bond presentation, said the change was made after talking with the city attorney's office about the ballot language and each measure needing to be a single purpose.
“I need it to go back to the way it was,” Bivens said.
Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and the council agreed to consult the city’s legal department about combining the community center proposal with the larger parks and recreation projects.
There was also discussion about the $15 million proposed for open space and whether that should remain a separate bond measure or be grouped with other parks projects. The council is set to review the proposed bond package again at its Feb. 8 meeting.
Click here to learn more about the city's proposed bond package.