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2020 budget proposed, opportunities for public feedback unveiled

Posted Aug. 13, 2019

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The city manager recommended a $1.8 billion budget on Tuesday that continues to focus on infrastructure improvements while also decreasing the property tax rate.

“For a fourth consecutive year, the city’s economic outlook is positive, from improvements in local job growth and sales tax collections to increases in residential and commercial values and new building permits,” City Manager David Cooke said. “Along with Fort Worth’s impressive population growth have come increased demands on city services and infrastructure and, ultimately, the requests for more financial resources.”

The recommended budget is an increase of 4% over the fiscal year 2019 adopted budget. The budget includes 114 net new positions, including 58 in the Police Department, 29 to staff a new animal shelter, 14 to staff a new fire station, ten to staff a new library and six code enforcement officers.

Cooke had five overarching goals as he headed into the 2020 budget. The proposed budget includes these achievements:

Goal 1: Increase funding for capital investment and maintenance

The recommended budget increases cash funding dedicated to capital projects, including funds for street maintenance and repair, as well as funds to improve neighborhood vitality and safety. The budget allows the city to implement the 2018 Bond Program, while planning for a 2022 Bond Program.

Earlier, Cooke presented an outline for a five-year capital planning process aimed at replacing and improving aging infrastructure for one of the fastest-growing large cities in the nation. Cooke sketched out a five-year plan that would add $1.85 billion in capital improvements through the fiscal year 2024 budget.

Goal 2: Open new facilities and meet current obligations

The recommended budget allows the city to staff new facilities approved by voters: the Golden Triangle Library in far north; the Reby Cary Youth Library in east Fort Worth; Fire Station 43 to serve the Walsh Ranch community; Fire Station 45 near US 287 & Harmon Road, an animal shelter facility in far north; and new parks.

The budget also fully funds the increase in City Pension Contributions, previously approved during FY 2019.

Goal 3: Improve Equity of City Services

One addition to the budget process is an effort to begin evaluating infrastructure maintenance and investment based on equity. This effort is in line with recommendations from the city’s Race and Culture Task Force.

Cooke said city officials are starting to use data about equity, which will influence where and how capital improvement dollars are spent.

As part of this effort, the city plans to create a Diversity & Inclusion Department, create a police monitor program and institute a police cadet program. The city will also use pay-as-you-go funds to continue neighborhood improvements and equitable capital investments.

Goal 4: Achieve priority initiatives

This goal emphasizes these priority objectives:

  • Increase staffing for police patrol and code enforcement.
  • Implement the strategic plan for the Economic Development Department.
  • Meet current obligations, such as pay and benefits related to collective bargaining for firefighters and meet and confer for police.
  • Offer a pay for performance plan to city employees.

Goal 5: Reduce the property tax rate

Cooke recommended reducing Fort Worth’s property tax rate by 3.75 cents, from 78.5 cents per $100 valuation to 74.75 cents. The owner of a home valued at $200,000 with a homestead exemption would pay $1,196 in city property taxes. If the City Council approves the new rate, the property tax rate will have declined by 10.75 cents over the last four years.

Total appraised property value for 2020 has increased by 13.1% over last year, reaching more than $103 billion.

Give your feedback on the budget

Fort Worth residents have opportunities to comment on the recommended 2020 budget. Budget hearings are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 27, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 10, 7 p.m. Hearings will be conducted during regular meetings of the City Council at City Hall, 200 Texas St.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on adopting the budget and the tax rate at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at City Hall.

Residents can also give their feedback online.

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Calendar

Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission Work Session: 1 p.m. Oct. 14, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission Public Hearing: 2 p.m. Oct. 14, 2019; City Council Chambers, Room 200, 2nd floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Regional Transportation Council Public Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 14, 2019; North Central Texas Council of Governments, 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, Tx 76011.
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Dallas/Fort Worth Area Business Opportunity Fair: Oct. 15, 2019; E-Sport Stadium Arlington + Expo Center , 1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011 .
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Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Special Called Joint Meeting of Fort Worth City Council and Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Public Hearing for North Z Boaz Park: 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Public Hearing for Gateway Park: 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 9 a.m. Oct. 16, 2019; City COuncil Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Oct. 16, 2019; City Council Cambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Toddler's Day Out at Hillside Community Center: 10 a.m. Oct. 16, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

Fort Worth Public Library and Zoo special program: 10:30 a.m. Oct. 16, 2019; Central Library, 500 W. 3rd Street.

Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: 12:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 13 (Woodhaven TIF) Board of Directors Meeting: 3 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Cancer Awareness Walk at Como Community Center: 6 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

North Ridglea Streetlights Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Fort Worth Public Library hosts Zoo program: 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2019; Central Library, 500 W. 3rd Street.

Community Action Partners (CAP) Council Meeting: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 1st floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Trinity River Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Eastwood Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWSH Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Matador Ranch Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Penn Place Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Sedona Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; FWSH Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Federal Contract Ready: 6 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Lake Worth Regional Coordination Committee: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019; Brewer High School, Auditorium, 1025 W Loop 820 N.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee Meeting: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18, 2019; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room 116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Lights on After School at Greenbriar Community Center: 5 p.m. Oct. 18, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill .

Fall Festival at Handley Meadowbrook Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 2019; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St.

Mile in My Shoes at Southside Community Center: 8 a.m. Oct. 19, 2019; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale.

Canceled Fort Worth Crud Cruiser Event: 9 a.m. Oct. 19, 2019; Summerglen Library/Gateway Church, 4205 Basswood Blvd, Fort Worth 76137.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.