Dallas budget reflects little service increase

DALLAS — The local economy may be improving, but for the city of Dallas, revenue struggles to keep up with the cost of services.    That reality is reflected in the city’s proposed 2014-15 budget.    “We’ve got a balanced budget and I think it is going to work nicely for us this year,” Dallas City Manager Ron Foggin said. “We will not see a lot of increases in services.”    The good news is building is on the rebound — the city issued 60 building permits in 2013 and is forecasting the same number for 2014. The bad news: revenue still is stagnant, causing departments to reduce or eliminate services.    The city has found room in the budget to give non-union employees a cost-of-living-adjustment, the first since 2008. They will receive a 2.3 percent boost in pay, based on the consumer price index for the Northwest region.    Other budget highlights include:    • $39,000 for the fire department to lease a new firefighting vehicle.    • $50,000 of park systems development fees to pay for new park playground equipment and $75,000 to create a parks master plan.    • $2.1 million in water fund revenue bonds, to be used in part to purchase land in the Mercer Reservoir watershed.    The Dallas Budget Committee will give final approval to the budget at its May 19 meeting. It will then be sent to the Dallas City Council for adoption.    City of Dallas    2014-15 budget    • General fund: $9.8 million.    • Capital projects fund: $170,000.    • System development fund: $5.16 million.    • Street fund: $1.46 million.    • Sewer fund: $6.8 million.    • Water fund: $7.1 million.    • Fleet management fund: $774,600.    • Grant fund: $2.1 million.    • General obligation fund: $1.015 million.    • Other funds: $234,867.    Total Budget: $34.5 million.    

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