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Big Wish List For Dallas 2012 Bond Election

Jeffrey Rolinc (cc) flickr

Dallas City Council members have a 10 Billion dollar “to-do” list. And will talk today about what to include in a 2012 bond election. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.

In briefing material, city managers say the bond package should be around 500 million dollars. That’s basically what the city can afford considering projected slow growth in the tax base, and the existing debt.

The top three items on the City Manager’s bond package list are streets, flood protection and economic development.

City Manager Mary Suhm says the satisfactory rating for city streets has declined for the past couple of years – making driving conditions worse. The mandate from the Corps of Engineers to bring the Trinity River levees up to new standards will take at least 50 million dollars, likely more. And economic development is critical to create jobs, expand the tax base, and bring in more tax dollars.

Council members will also talk about the millions of dollars it will take to fix the city’s decrepit alleys. And they’ll discuss a drainage relief tunnel to help prevent flooding around Deep Ellum and Baylor Hospital, near East Dallas and the State Thomas area in uptown.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.