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Fort Worth

City Council: $60M in new transportation projects coming

🕐 3 min read

At its Oct. 30 meeting, the Fort Worth City Council authorized application for federal grant funds of around $60 million for several transportation projects throughout the city.

In connection, the council also authorized the allocation of Transportation Department Development Credits (TDC).

The grant requests include:

• CentrePort Trail Phase 2 to Grand Prairie Segment (extension), $5,412,111.

• Horne Street Complete Streets Project, $7,816,295.

• University Drive Complete Streets Project, $8,083,595.

• Heritage Trace Parkway Railroad Crossing (bridge), $37,500,000.00.

• Meacham Airport Turn Lanes Project (safe turns), $1,188,000.

The TDCs of $12 million authorized include:

• CentrePort Trail Phase 2 to Grand Prairie Segment, $1,082,422.

• Horne Street Complete Streets Project, $1,563,259.

• University Drive Complete Streets Project, $1,616,719.

• Heritage Trace Parkway Railroad Crossing, $7,500,000.

• Meacham Airport Turn Lanes Project, $237,600.

“The significance is that there are no matching dollars required for $60 Million dollars’ worth of high priority city capital improvements,” Fort Worth Planning and Development Director Randle Harwood said.

The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) awarded TDCs to the city of Fort Worth in the fiscal years 2017 and FY 2018, following an application process in which city staff documented adopted city policies that support the implementation of the region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

In August, the North Central Texas Council of Governments notified city staff that the RTC had awarded $4 million worth of TDCs to Fort Worth for fiscal year 2018. The city was previously awarded but did not use $8 million from fiscal year 2017.

“The grant application would allow us to perform streetscape improvements on Horne Street: trees, brick pavers, some complete street striping, bike and walking lanes, and sidewalks,” District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd said of the funding for his area. “We want to see Horne Street business develop, and this project, if funded, would help us get there.”

District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh added, “I am excited to see our efforts moving forward to redesign important corridors to meet the Complete Streets Policy. A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks.

“This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments. We are fortunate to have proactive staff who identify these important funding opportunities that assist us implementing these improvements.”

TDCs are not spendable dollars, but they offset the otherwise required local cash match for federal grants, allowing the city to request enough federal funds to cover 100 percent of eligible transportation project costs.

All TDCs that are not allocated for use in fiscal year 2019 will be returned to the regional pool for subsequent redistribution.

ARTS COUNCIL

Arts has played a big role in the popularity of Fort Worth, which is subsequently one of the fastest-growing cities in America.

At its Oct. 30 meeting, the Fort Worth City Council authorized the execution of a contract with the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County Inc., in the amount of $1,377,500 from the general fund to support the competitive arts grant program.

As part of this funding, $200,000 is set aside for operation of the Community Arts Center, and another $50 is targeted for management funding for the Rose Marine Theater for Fiscal Year 2019.

While considered to be a supporting organization to the Arts Council, the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (FWCAC) is a separate Texas non-profit corporation. In addition to absorbing utility costs for operation of the FWCAC, the city provides an annual subsidy of $200,000 used wholly for the management of the facility.

The Arts Council has managed this facility since 2002.

This is the city’s 10th year to partner with the Arts Council.

“With the quality of our world-class museums, our performing arts at Bass Hall and other venues, and public art, put it all together and it enhances the quality of life in our city,” District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton said.

The Arts Council will also use the funds in support of the Neighborhood Arts Program and for grants that support general operating costs of art agencies. These funds allow the Arts Council to continue to provide funding and leadership to stimulate and ensure the advancement of arts via assistance to non-profit organizations in the city.

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