This past Thursday, residents in District 13 headed to the Walnut Hill Recreation Center to discuss which city projects are most important to them.

During the first of two town hall meetings organized by Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, residents were surveyed to determine which city projects should be part of the proposed 2017 capital bond program.

The survey, which also is available here, covers everything from streets and transportation to public safety.

“We are currently sitting at about $10 billion in needs for infrastructure across the city,” said Jennifer Standifer, director of Trinity Watershed Management, who conducted the survey.

As neighbors ranked which improvements deserved city dollars the most, the results reflected what Gates already knows— coming to a compromise won’t be easy.

For instance, when neighbors were asked if they prioritized funding library facilities as low, medium or high, the vote was split evenly between high and medium. Votes also were split evenly when residents were surveyed on Fair Park and cultural facilities.

Several Vickery Meadows residents attended the meeting to advocate for the construction of a long-awaited library branch in the neighborhood.

Vickery Meadows resident Norma Cruz says she believes having a library accessible to residents is vital to area children’s education. Her daughter is a preschooler at Preston Hollow Elementary, she said in Spanish, and she has been successful, in part, because Cruz reads to her for an hour every night.

Other residents stressed the neighborhood’s infrastructure issues and even suggested projects that were not included in the survey, such as the construction of a senior center.

The next bond hearing is scheduled tomorrow from 6:30-8 p.m. at the recreation center.



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