If you live in Dallas or Texas and wonder where your tax money goes, this week revealed three surprising beneficiaries. Meanwhile, Love Field is the new Deep Ellum. Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
A report by UNT lecturer George Getschow finds that the Lewisville dam is in terrible shape and poses a risk to towns in the vicinity such as Dallas, Carrollton, Coppell, Farmers Branch, and Irving.
The story says that, if the dam were to break, "a 65-foot-tall flood wave would sweep through the brush to the homes and buildings beyond," including LBJ Freeway, the Bush Turnpike, Interstate 35E, Love Field, the Hospital District, senior centers, and schools. Downtown Dallas could be submerged in 50 feet of water.
The dam is showing a number of danger signs including seepage, cracking, and in one area, a massive slide. Rehabilitation will cost millions.
The Dallas City Council passed a "water/rest break" ordinance, requiring that construction workers get a 10-minute break with access to water every four hours. Texas state law does not require rest breaks.
Love Field Love
Real estate guy Scott Rohrman has purchased some properties near Love Field, including a 3-story office building at 2626 W. Mockingbird Ln. that's memorable for its yellow panels.
Rohrman cleverly bought many properties in Deep Ellum and has been a game changer in its prosperity. Love Field is on the rise. Construction has started on a new dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel development, set to open in December 2016.
The new board of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System released information revealing that public pension funds were spent on a social media campaign and investigation into a city council member and an "anonymous blogger."
Attorney Gary Lawson paid for the "forensic trace" of Scott Griggs and blogger Wylie H Dallas, who was critical of pension officials. Lawson would not release the records, but the fund's new director, Kelly Gottschalk, released them in response to an open records request from the Dallas Morning News.
Tax $ for wrestlers
Governor Greg Abbott signed off on subsidizing WrestleMania, handing off $2.7 million in taxpayer funds. WrestleMania 32 will come to AT&T Stadium on April 3, 2016. A spokesman claims that the event "could have an economic impact akin to a Super Bowl."
Tax $ for race cars
Dallas tax money was used to sponsor a race car at Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway in November. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau was the primary sponsor of driver Brett Moffitt's No. 34 Ford Fusion, with the goal to "encourage fans to think big when choosing a travel destination."
According to a release, that partnership was the first for the DCVB and Front Row Motorsports. Which would seem to imply that more money will be spent plastering the Dallas skyline on the hoods of other race cars and VisitDallas.com on their quarter panels.