Fort Worth Mayor: State of the City is Strong
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX – The Mayor of Fort Worth says the state of the city is strong - but not immune from the economic downturn. KERA's BJ Austin says the economy and traffic congestion are at the top of the Mayor's 2009 to-do list.
Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief told a crowd of about 15 hundred in the Fort Worth Convention center ballroom that the 2008 value of Fort Worth's commercial real estate was the highest EVER. And Fort Worth was second in the nation in new home starts. But Mayor Moncrief says Fort Worth's fortunes are edging downward with the rest of the economy.
And, like others, the Mayor's looking to major infrastructure projects to help revive the local economy.
Moncrief: Without swift and major upgrades, our transportation network - Fort Worth's economic engine - will sputter and die.
Mayor Moncrief says work begins this year on the Southwest Parkway. The North Tarrant Express contract was just awarded for relief to Loop 820 and Airport Freeway commuters. But, he says regional rail is the real solution.
Moncrief: We've identified more than 250 miles of additional rail lines that could serve seven different counties in North Central Texas. We're talking about five to nine billion dollars. We need your help. This is your call to action.
Mayor Moncrief is asking Fort Worth residents to call lawmakers and demand they pass the Texas Local Option Transportation Act, which would make it possible for local voters to approve a variety of FEES to build the regional rail.