The Coppell Recreation and Development Corporation Board drafted its fiscal year 2024-25 recommended budget and work program at a July 8 meeting.

The CRDC is a sales tax special revenue fund for recreation and entertainment in Coppell managed by the CRDC board, a seven member team comprised of residents and City Council members. The board outlined renovation projects at various parks and athletic facilities around the city in its proposed FY 2024-25 plan.

“The CRDC fund gives us that extra boost to be able to take care of the things that we built and put in place," Director of Community Experiences Jessica Carpenter, who serves as a liaison to the board, said.

The details

The proposed budget contains $5.8 million in proposed expenditures and $5.6 million in anticipated revenue, Budget Officer Jesica Almendarez said.

While there is a discrepancy between projected cost and revenue streams, the revenue is a conservative estimate that is almost always lower than what is collected in totality year over year, Carpenter said. The state requires that the CRDC maintain a running fund balance as savings or contingency funds.

“If we happen to be 100% on point [for the revenue and expenditures] and there was a deficit, we would take it out of the remaining fund balance,” she said.

The CRDC expects to start FY 2024-25 with a fund balance of $31.2 million, according to documents. This has increased annually from $19.4 million in FY 2022-23 which Carpenter attributes to a rise in people spending money in Coppell, a possible effect of its Discover Coppell Campaign efforts.

The CRDC fund budget expenditures for FY 2023-24 sits at $5.3 million with $5.9 million in revenue collected, according to city documents. However, the city expects to collect an additional $4.07 million before the end of the fiscal year in September. Surplus funds are added to the fund balance for future use.

Zooming in

Funds from the proposed budget will go to salary and benefits for Coppell Arts Center employees as well as improvement projects at the center. The budget also allocates funding for supplies, maintenance cost and capital improvement and renovation projects at local fitness centers and parks, Almendarez said.

The complete list of the projects include:
  • MacArthur Park playground, surface replacement, and restroom and concession renovation
  • Wagon Wheel Park batting cage turf and net replacement
  • Andrew Brown Park East pond restoration and picnic table replacements
  • Andrew Brown Park West basketball goals replacement
  • Coppell Middle School North turf replacement
  • Coppell Senior and Community Center cardio equipment and flooring replacement
  • Indoor play feature replacement at The CORE
  • Retaining wall replacement at the Wagon Wheel Tennis and Pickleball Center
  • Tennis and pickleball court resurfacing and general park trails and sidewalks concrete and seam repairs
  • Staff break room and open green room renovations, and maintenance and operations at the Coppell Arts Center
The context

The CRDC undertakes projects for youth and adult amateur athletics, entertainment, and public gathering facilities, exhibition and museum facilities, parks and recreational facilities, according to city documents.

It differs from a parks and recreation department, known in Coppell as Community Experience, in the way it is funded as well as its funding allocation, Carpenter said.

While Community Experience is funded primarily through property tax, the CRDC is funded through sales tax which takes half of a cent for each sales transaction that occurs in Coppell. The city estimates 60% of collected revenue comes from non-Coppell residents that commute to the city for work or business.

Since 2013, revenue from CRDC provided major funding for the improvements at the Cozby Library and Community Commons, Andrew Brown Park system, trails, medians and green spaces, the addition of Life Safety Park, and the Coppell Arts Center, according to city documents.

The arts center is fully funded by the CRDC through sales tax, Carpenter said. The center generates revenue through rentals, programs and ticketed events.

“That revenue goes directly back into the CRDC fund balance, which can then be reallocated to projects or arts center operations,” she said.

In addition to collecting $7.9 million in sales tax, the CRDC expects to earn $720,000 from The Coppell Arts Center in FY 2024-25, per city documents.

Going forward

The CRDC budget will be initially reviewed by the council at the budget workshop July 15. This is the council's first opportunity to view the budget, ask questions and make recommendations, Carpenter said.

The final budget will be approved Aug. 27 at the time that the entire city budget is approved and will go into effect Oct. 1.

Per their bylaws, the CRDC is required to allow a 60-day review period for public input on the anticipated work program and provide a public hearing for community feedback, Carpenter said. The CRDC board is targeting Sept. 16 for this public forum.

City officials will bring each project before council individually then to the CRDC board for approval before contracts are awarded or any work begins, Carpenter said. Final cost estimates for each project will be shared as the city works through quotes and brings each item before the council.

“We get loose quotes in order to build this work program, so we won't know the real actual cost until the whole budget is approved," she said.