Tuesday evening a bus loaded with approximately 50 residents traveled to downtown Dallas to attend a meeting of the DART Board of Directors and show support for DART to include the cost of building the Cotton Belt Line in the agency’s long-range plan.
The DART Board approved their 2017 budget, including $25 million for the Cotton Belt Line as well as $3.5 million for a proposed second rail line (D2) in downtown Dallas, yet none of that funding will be spent until the 20-year DART financial plan is voted on October 25 when the scope of the projects and funding priorities will be defined.
There were two public comment sessions at which time a number of Addison residents spoke in favor of funding the Cotton Belt line and made reference to the $250 million plus that Addison has faithfully sent to DART each month over the 396 months since the assessment of the one-cent sales tax. Mayor Meier spoke as did council members Arfsten, Hughes, Wilcox and Walden. Duffy and Angell attended but did not speak. Blake Clemens read a letter on behalf of Erin Carney, president of the Metrocrest Chamber in support of the Cotton Belt.
Addison and Richardson residents wore yellow t-shirts bearing the words “Connect North Texas” “Cotton Belt + D2=WIN WIN.”
DART officials have indicated that both lines can be built concurrently if federal authorities approve payout of $650 million in grants for D-2. There are competing interests in downtown Dallas for D-2, some wanting a rail line, others wanting a subway line.
The DART Board will meet again October 4 in a public meeting to review five different financial scenarios involving the Cotton Belt Line and D-2. Addison town officials plan to attend the October 25 DART Board meeting and invite residents to attend as well and wear their yellow t-shirts. Go to the Addison town website to sign up.
Council Meeting Tonight
In order to accommodate attendance at the DART Board meeting, the Council meeting was moved to tonight. Work session begins at 6:30 p.m. and the regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
There will be a public hearing on the Housing Policy for the Town of Addison. This policy will impact future decisions about what can be built going forward.
The other item of significance is a presentation, discussion and action to be considered for an Ordinance Amending the Town’s Annual Budget for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2016 in the amount of $111,055,724.
Photo via DART
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