Archive for January, 2012

The Star Telegram recently wrote an article on the budget surplus from 2011. Apparently the city is in the black $2.7 million dollars. You might say, “Wow, that’s a lot of money. ” Considering the City has an operating budget of $200 million it’s not that much. If you are brave enough to venture into the comments section of the Star-Telegram section you can read the calls for “Return it to the residents” or “What a waste. How can they have a surplus?”

It would be nice to see the surplus money invested back into Arlington. The article says that Councilman Shepard’s Financial Committee is going to discuss with City staff where the money should be allocated. Maybe staff and Council have ideas about where they would like to see the money spent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t chime in. If you think a portion of that money should be used to implement the Hike and Bike System Master Plan, here’s a sample letter you might consider emailing to council and the Transportation Planning Manager in charge of the plan (we’ve included email addresses for simple copy & pasting).

___________________________________________________

To: robert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov; mel.leblanc@arlingtontx.gov; sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.gov; robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov; kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov; lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov; robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov; jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov

CC: alicia.winkelblech@arlingtontx.gov;

bikefriendlyarlington@gmail.com

Subject: Please use one-time funds to implement the Hike & Bike Plan

Dear Council,

I recently found out about the budgetary windfall of $2.7 million dollars. I would like to recommend the city invest in safer streets and a more resilient transportation system by committing $300,000 to implementing the on-street portion of the Hike & Bike System Master Plan.

I understand that the plan was intended to be implemented over the next 30-40 years but in 30-40 years costs are going to be higher than what they are now.

Something that could be taken care of now, today, and benefit us residents almost immediately, would be the on-street portion of the Hike & Bike System Master Plan. The sum total for implementing the on-street portion of the plan is only estimated at $300,000. It’s a one-time cost that would offer multiple benefits to Arlington residents.

When deliberating the spending of these one-time funds, I would strongly recommend you dedicate a portion of the funds to implementing the approved plan.

Sincerely,

Joan Q Public

123 Bicycle Track

Arlington 760XX




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