It’s been a little over a week since the 2014 midterm elections, and results are in. Texas has never been able to brag about high turnout, but this election was surprisingly low. Only 34% of registered voters made it to the polls last week, which means only around 28% of eligible Texans voted at all. Tarrant County fared slightly better, turning out at 37% of registered voters. Causes are still being debated, but heavy rains, relatively little competition, and general midterm disinterest are all considered factors. For the rest of Texas, talk of elections is starting to die down, but the conversation here in Arlington is just getting started.
Last Tuesday, November 4th, represented a new page in history for the city.Those who live and vote in Arlington gave a historic bond package the green light.
After much deliberation this past summer, City Council put the 2014 Arlington Bond Package up to a public vote. The package calls for a whopping $236 million to expand or repair libraries, streets, fire facilities, and parks, but the 19-member council says that money will not be supplemented by increased taxes. Instead, City Council will reallocate existing funds from property taxes, and says they expect to pay the bond off in 20 years. The last bond election for the city was back in 2008, and Mayor Robert Cluck is glad to see Arlington staying up-to-date. In an interview with the Star-Telegram, he detailed the importance of the bond. “Every four to five years we have to finance major improvements to the city, including roads and parks, things that people really depend upon,” Mayor Cluck said. “Without regular infusions of cash, the city would not live up to the expectations of our citizens. This is what this is all about.”
Voters solidly approved the record bond package, which covered everything from libraries to parks to infrastructure. The massive idea was broken into four, smaller proposals for Arlington residents, all of which passed with at least 65% approval. Prop 1, the Public Works and Transportation section of the package, contains most of the expense, at an estimated $160,130,000. Prop 2 contains improvements and expansions under Parks and Recreation, but costs around only $60,000,000, despite some fairly large developments. Propositions 3 and 4 address a reconstruction of Fire Station 1, along with extensive library improvements, and ring up at a mere $9,780,000 and $6,090,000, respectively.
If a record breaking price tag doesn’t already speak to the progress Arlington is going to see in the next few years, perhaps the projects themselves will. Downtown Arlington Management Corporation is excited to bring you a more detailed look at specific projects. Through our blog, we will be highlighting those projects that pertain to our city center as well as those that deserve recognition for the exciting possibilities they could bring to Arlington. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook to explore with us the dreams that lie ahead for the city of Arlington!