Friday, September 2, 2011
For more than two years, a big, hungry monster has dogged every meeting of the Fort Worth City Council. Only occasionally have council members talked about it, but the monster's low growl and hot, heavy breath have been a constant part of their lives.
The monster is a $1 billion gap between what's needed for major street repair, maintenance and construction and what's anticipated to be available next year and in future years.
Next question, how much is the gap with drainage? Several years ago, it was a billion, too.
Previous councils share the blame for creating this monster. Since 1995, they reduced the share of the property tax rate that goes to pay off debt.
If we're not paying our bills and we're not fixing roads and infrastructure...WHERE is OUR money going??
Councilman Sal Espino, whose north side District 2 has probably the city's worst street problems, sided with other council members against the new fee, but he was clearly reluctant.
Housing growth in District 2 boomed before the national recession hit. As Espino put it, "We allowed these massive subdivisions to be built on two-lane county roads."
WE did? WHY would WE do that? Wasn't Sal out on the side of the road with the Mayor asking for money and making promises to fix it years ago?