The Dallas budget shortfall is shrinking, from $40 million last month to $24 million.
Higher sales tax revenue and lower city expenses have whittled down the city’s budget shortfall. Councilman Jerry Allen says that’s good news.
“You know, we’re in a whole lot better shape now than we were two years ago, three years ago, and a year ago,” Allen said. “So, it’s going to be a lot easier budget as we go through.”
That doesn’t mean there won’t be layoffs or cutbacks. Council member Sandy Greyson is disappointed that park maintenance is cut again. Nineteen percent of money necessary to keep parks mowed and litter picked up falls below the funding line.
“I said it before, and I’ll say it again. This needs to be above the line,” Greyson said.
Greyson says shabby parks and trails hurt the city. Councilman Dwaine Caraway agrees, and wants some of that park maintenance money to finally fix the roof at the Coliseum in Fair Park.
“And it is so that our facilities can be a facility of choice,” said Caraway. “So that people will want to come and rent and utilize our facilities and not walk away from them and choose to take their business somewhere else.”
City Manager Mary Shum promises she will find the additional 3 to 4 million dollars to fully fund park maintenance by the next budget update in August. Also unfunded so far: a minimum 40-hour week for all libraries, and full hiring of police.