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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

Disability Rights Summit: 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2019; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

Spooky Senior Social at Hillside Community Center: 10 a.m. Oct. 22, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox.

Job and Resource Fair: 10 a.m. Oct. 22, 2019; EnVision Center at MLK Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.
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Audit Committee Meeting: 1 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Infrastructure & Transportation Committee: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation: 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City of Fort Worth Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Auditorium, 505 W Felix St.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 22, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Christopher Golden: 9 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom No. 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Canceled Disciplinary Appeal of the Terminantion of Stephen Doss: 9 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019; City Hall Annex, 6th Floor, Training Room 623, 908 Monroe .
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority dba MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Dirctors Meeting: 10 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: 11 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Civic Engagement Lunch & Learn: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019; Tarrant County College-Trinity River Campus, 300 Trinity Campus Circle.
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City Plan Commmission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 23, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Tour of Handley Meadowbrook Community Center: 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23, 2019; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Oct. 23, 2019; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty.
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Disiplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Christopher Golden: 9 a.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom No. 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Fort Worth Improvement District No. 1 Advisory Board Meeting: 9 a.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., Ste. 100, 777 Taylor Street.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Oct. 24, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Urban Design Commission Work Session: 10 a.m. Oct. 24, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Canceled FW Sports Authority, Inc. Board Meeting: 10:30 a.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston Street.
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Business Plan Competition - Finale: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2019; MET Building, UNTHSC Campus, 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard.
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Sycamore Park Master Plan Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale St.

Fall Festival at Chisholm Trail Community Center: 6 p.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd.

Lights On Afterschool Open House: 6 p.m. Oct. 24, 2019; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Southwest Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 W. Loop 820.
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How to Improve Your Top Line Revenue: 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Christopher Golden: 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom No. 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Fall Festival at Diamond Hill Community Center: 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Fall Festival at Riverside Community Center: 6 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap.

Fall Festival at MLK Jr Community Center: 6 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; MLK Jr Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.

Fall Festival at Greenbriar Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Fall Festival at Sycamore Community Center: 7 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale.

Fall Festival at R.D. Evans Community Center: 7 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Rd..

Simple Steps to Starting Your Business - Presented in Spanish: 9 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth Crud Cruiser Event: 9 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3200 Lackland Road, Fort Worth 76116.

Community Engagement Fall Workshop: 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.
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Community Engagement Fall Workshop (Spanish): 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Iglesia Nueva Vida, 1800 Terminal Road.
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Trails and Treats, featuring Lake Worth Monster Bash: 10 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, 4600 Broadview Drive.

FWPD’s Trunk or Treat: 11 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Bob Bolen Safety Complex, 505 W Felix St.

Fall Festival at Eugene McCray Community Center: 11 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019; Eugene McCray Community Center, 4932 Wilbarger St.

Fall Festival at Hillside Community Center: noon Oct. 26, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

How to Write an Effective Business Plan - Presented in Spanish: noon Oct. 26, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Spooky Film Series - Family Double Feature: 2 p.m. Oct. 27, 2019; Central Library, 500 W. 3rd Street.

Mayor Price’s Annual Spooky Bike & Ball : 4 p.m. Oct. 27, 2019; Sundance Square Plaza .

View the full city calendar and current meetings.