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Dallasites Express Concerns At Bond Package Town Hall Meetings

By Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter

Dallas, TX – Bill Zeeble, KERA 90.1 reporter: At one of last night's Dallas Bond Package town hall meetings in Southwest Dallas' Arcadia Park, resident Michael Mendez said he'll vote for this plan, because it's ALL needed. He said many improvements are long overdue in this low-income area, even though it received some benefits from the last bond package

Michael Mendez, area resident: I agree it's not a wealthy district, but if you could clean it, make it look better, major street reconstruction, things like that, it would help attract more business, and that means more money here.

Zeeble: Mendez likes most of what he's heard. That includes 15 million dollars to help expand two-lane Chalk Hill road to 4. It cuts through some undeveloped land, & also over property with new construction. The District 6 councilman, Steve Salazar, says with improvements, Chalk Hill Road could become a major thoroughfare connecting West Dallas residents to Interstate - 30 and Loop 12

Stever Salazar, Dallas City Council member: Hopefully that'll put an end to dumping that goes on there right now by increasing traffic. With more people passing on it. We're more likely to catch the people who go out there and throw their tires and basically treat it like an old country road. That's what it is now but we're going to change that.

Zeeble: Officials say even if this bond passes, much will go unfixed. That's ok with lifelong Arcadia Park resident Guadalupe Robles

Guadalupe robles, resident: I don't think we could ever meet 100 percent all at once, but yes I think most needs are being met in this bond package. If other needs are being met, we can do it, the people here will do it.

Zeeble: Longtime community leader and activist Luis Sepulveda, now a Justice of the Peace, also backs the plan. But, standing in the brand new library funded by the last bond package, Sepulveda says he wants more out of this proposal

Judge Luis Sepulveda: I think this community is wanting to pay its share if we get our share. This community says we don't mind having a nice library, a new school, and paying for it. If we do get something but 4 streets in 50 years, that's not going to do it.

Zeeble: Sepulveda and others all over Dallas will have a chance to request changes, additions, or even deletions to the bond proposal at their town hall meetings. A schedule is on the City of Dallas web page. Council man Salazar says comments from Arcadia Park residents are representative of the area, and nothing's yet set in stone.

Salazar: People still want infrastructure projects to the areas. They're wanting additional items. But it's too early to say whether it'll be more than what the managers have already recommended

Zeeble: Judge Sepulveda and others here hope to submit additional requests for their neighborhood to Salazar before the council next discusses the bond package June 14th. The judge says if he's not satisfied, a group of residents may need to visit city hall. For KERA 90.1 I'm Bill Zeeble
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