Next week, staff and council members from the city of Dallas will travel to Washington D.C. to make a case to receive federal funding for 17 city projects ranging from crime and public safety initiatives to traffic improvements to the dredging of White Rock Lake.
In a memo to the Dallas City Council last week, Carrie Rogers, the city’s director of government affairs, explained that each member of the Dallas delegation of the House of Representatives has up to 15 requests they can submit for fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills. Between U.S. Reps. Jasmine Crockett, Marc Veasey, Beth Van Duyne, Colin Allred, Jake Ellzey, and Keith Self, there is potential for 90 community projects to receive funding.
“Legislative Chairman Tennell Atkins, Dallas city council members, and City Manager T.C. Broadnax will be in D.C. next week meeting with Dallas Congressional members to underscore the importance of these projects and making sure funds paid in by the taxpayers of Dallas come back to our communities,” Rogers said Monday. “We know that House rules limit how many requests can be submitted each year, and we appreciate the delegation’s consideration of these Dallas priorities.”
Obviously, those representatives will be getting requests from multiple entities, which still means that the 17 projects the city prioritized could be selected in their entirety, or only a few might be picked. The process, Rogers said in the memo, is competitive—each house member’s 15 requests “must cover every local government, transit agency, public agency, college, university, and nonprofit in their district.”
Among the 17 projects the city submitted to the delegation are:
$1 million for the Dallas Police Department’s focused deterrence and urban blight abatement program, which involves partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, case workers, street outreach workers, counseling, and substance abuse treatment in a community-based setting to address high-risk offenders and violent crime problems. The funding would put a Dallas Focused Deterrence Initiative project manager in place, and would allow the city to decide on staffing and its geographical focus for the program.
$2 million on improvements at Mockingbird Lane and Harry Hines that will include better entrances to Love Field and the new pediatric hospital planned by Children’s Health and UT Southwestern.
$10.56 million for the I-30 deck construction near the new Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center that will improve walkability around the convention center and better connect it to the surrounding neighborhoods.
$2 million for preliminary engineering and design support to dredge White Rock Lake.
$2.5 million to work on helping neighborhoods that are subject to frequent flooding, both through mitigation and by relocating residents in those areas.
$2 million to fund a joint Dallas ISD and city library in the upcoming pre-k through 12 International STEAM Academy in the Dallas International District. The school—the district’s first vertical campus—will be in the 10-story office building at 5501 LBJ Freeway, and will likely open in 2025.
$1 million for next generation planning of new land uses and multi-modal transit options on the stretch of Garland Road from north of the 3G area to I-635. Those transit options could include a possible streetcar, city documents explain, and would seek to improve pedestrian and other “non-car movement” from residential neighborhoods to either end of the Garland/Grand corridor.
A city staffer said the city typically discovers in May which projects have been selected for inclusion in one of 12 House appropriations bills. Those bills will be considered in June and through July, with the aim of completing the bills before the August recess. The Senate will complete its work on appropriations bills in September.
“FY 2024 begins on October 1, but it is unlikely that Congress will finish work on the FY 2024 budget on time,” Rogers wrote in the memo. Last year, all eight of the projects the city submitted were funded at least partially, including $7.75 million for the Southern Gateway Park.