City News Roundup
There's DART news in the works, but the biggest news of the week is that early voting is coming soon for the upcoming election on May 4.
Here's what happened in Dallas news this week:
Voting for city council races begins on April 22, with two weeks of early voting. Election Day is May 4, which is a Saturday, and Dallas voters will elect a new mayor for the first time in eight years along with 14 contested city council races.
In the last municipal election cycle in 2017, when Dallas last elected a new city council and voted on $1 billion in bond propositions, only 7.9 percent of the 1.3 million registered voters in Dallas County made it to the polls.
This time around there are again 1.3 million registered voters in Dallas County, with 611,496 voters in the city of Dallas.
It is likely that many of the 15 city races will end in a runoff election set for June 8. Here's your chance to review our oh-so-popular master list of candidates running for office in our master list of all city council races.
D2 gets rolling
Dallas Area Rapid Transit has preliminary plans for downtown's first underground rail line and will share details at two public meetings.
DART and the Federal Transit Administration will present initial concepts of the new downtown rail line dubbed D2. The public will also get its first look at the station designs for the four new DART stations serving D2 - three underground and one at street level. Known as 10-percent design, the concepts will provide the first snapshot of street-level access points and a better look at the location of the tunnel.
The transit agency is shooting to open the $1.2 billion rail line extension in 2024, but funding is still needed to move forward. D2 needs $320 million in current Federal Transportation Administration grants, but DART President Gary Thomas has lobbied Congress for an expansive infrastructure bill to fund the Dallas project and more than $230 billion in transit projects nationwide.
There are meetings you can attend, both held on April 25: the first at 11:30 am and another 6 pm at DART Headquarters.
The City of Dallas is set to add 30 new affordable homes in southern and western Dallas when the City Council considers releasing vacant and tax-delinquent properties.
The council’s Economic Development and Housing Committee approved a plan to sell 25 properties in South Dallas and five lots in West Dallas after an open bidding process wrapped up. The only bidder was Confia Homes, which has previously developed land bank properties in low-income parts of the city. The lots would be sold at $2,000 or less.
The city requires Confia and other developers who take part in the program to sell to families of four earning about $77,000 a year. Developers are capped at making 15 percent profit.
It’s all a part of the city's goal of adding 20,000 affordable homes or apartments across Dallas. The city sold 51 vacant, tax delinquent lots to five developers, says David Drury, manager of the city’s Land Bank Program.
In all, he says the city hopes to sell 200 more lots to developers by the end of September.
We're no. 1
Dallas Fort Worth was the fast growing region in the state in 2018. That’s according to new numbers the U.S. Census Buearau released Thursday.
With 131,767 new residents from 2017 to 2018, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area gained more new residents than any metro in the country. The region also accounted for more than a third of Texas’ population growth last year.