As the DMN notes, at a retreat next week the Dallas City Council will discuss the possibility of postponing until 2018 a $1 billion bond program initially planned to go before voters in 2017. The reason is that Mayor Mike Rawlings and some other council members want the city to pay down some of its outstanding debt before taking on any more:
As things stand, $235 million out of Dallas’ $3 billion budget will go toward debt service this fiscal year alone .
“That’s money that could be going toward other services,” said council member Lee Kleinman, who has advocated that the city pay for repairs only when it can afford to do so. “That’s money that could go toward streets.”
“We’re trying as a council to bring our credit card spending down,” Rawlings said.
Any delay could be a disappointment to residents eager to get repaired many streets that are now in a near-post-apocalyptic state. Councilman Philip Kingston sounds ready to serve as their champion on the horseshoe:
The council has been told it will cost $900 million alone just to straighten out the rough ride. The city is spending $40 million this year just to keep them from getting worse.
“Being careful with our borrowing is incredibly helpful,” said Kingston, who in November called for using the bond package to repair “the decaying city.”
“But we have critical infrastructure needs, and that is not wasteful spending,” he said. “In some ways he could be talking about cutting off our nose to spite our face.”