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Money Issues Between Dallas Arts District, Klyde Warren Park Resolved

Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - There’s been a “meeting of the minds” between the new Klyde Warren Deck Park and members of the Dallas Arts District.

You may recall there was some tension when the park asked for surrounding businesses to kick in tax dollars to support it.  Now it’s resolved.

The park and the Arts District have agreed on a partnership and a way to split revenue from a new property tax for a Public Improvement District, or PID.  Park users think it’s necessary to retain the park’s attractiveness.

“The way that people are using the park, it’s bigger than what they expected it to be, so they’re just going to have to have some help.” said Dallas businesswoman Jenny Richard.

There’s more action at Klyde Warren Park than anyone anticipated, even in the stifling heat of a Friday afternoon. People come from all over. The price of success?  Higher maintenance and operating costs.

“We’re coming from all places just to enjoy the park and that’s extra business for them.” said Maria Acero – who was enjoying the park…adding “I’m from Plano”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings agrees  “Klyde Warren Park has been a major boost to the real estate values downtown,” he tells CBS 11 News. Which is why the people who run the park floated the idea of a PID.

The Park members wanted add an extra property tax on neighboring businesses and residences, but some neighbors in the Arts District balked at participating…at least until a compromise was worked out to share revenue with them.

Of $600,000 the first year, 10% will go to the Arts District, 90% to the park.

Tennell Atkins chairs the council committee that will hear the plan.  “I think what we’re going to do is probably make sure the Arts District do get ‘x’ amount of dollars – probably $100,000 for the next five years – but also plow money back into the deck park.”

The plan calls for properties to be taxed an extra $25 for every $100,000 of assessed value. The Arts District will likely use money to find ways to beat traffic congestion, especially since the Perot Museum of Natural History is also taking off.

“Look at Perot Museum,” says Atkins.  “If they go to phase two there will be more traffic and more congestion.”  But ultimately, city leaders agree these are the kinds of problems that means Dallas is successful.  “What we’ve got is working ,” adds Mayor Rawlings, “and we’ve got to find ways to work well together and that’s what this has done.”

The plan starts the formal council agenda process by being briefed to Atkins Economic Development Committee on Monday.  The mayor hopes to have it put on the formal agenda before the council breaks for its annual July recess.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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