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Plano makes moves toward city maintenance



PLANO, TX – Plano found itself with an additional $2.1 million in sales tax revenue than it had originally estimated.

The city received its final sales tax payment for the 2019-20 fiscal year, according to a city memo from City Manager Mark Israelson. The city’s recent estimate of sales tax revenue for the fiscal year came to $82,892,605, but a year-end actual total without positive audit adjustments landed the figure at $85,018,575.

According to Plano City Council policy, the additional $2.1 million can be used for uses including capital maintenance, one-time expenses and economic development, Israelson’s memo stated.

During the City Council’s Monday meeting, Israelson said he recommended directing the funds towards the city’s Capital Maintenance Fund, specifically for asphalt overlays.

“If you’ve driven on Independence (Parkway) in front of Plano Senior High School, you’ve experienced the asphalt overlay, which is a sealer,” Israelson said. “It’s a very thin product that seals the road.”

He said city staff had submitted data indicating that the product had performed well. The sealer helps extend the life of the road and seal it so that water doesn’t seep into the road and create potholes, he added.

“Due to the economic downturn, we had to remove some projects from our capital maintenance fund, including some asphalt overlay,” Israelson said. “My first recommendation would be to take those funds and apply it to the capital maintenance fund for specifically asphalt overlays, and we would make those stretch as far as we could with those projects.”

City Council members unanimously approved directing the funds as recommended.

During the same evening’s preliminary open meeting, the City Council got a look at its initial list of proposed 2021 bond referendum projects. The proposed projects, which include updates for city buildings and roadways, total $409.5 million.

The list is an initial grouping of proposed projects, Plano Budget Director Karen Rhodes-Whitley said.

Street improvements make up the largest category of proposed projects at $236.9 million. Among the proposed projects are a $15.9 million renovation project for the Tom Muehlenbeck Center and $112.5 million for park improvement projects.

The Plano City Council will ultimately decide in January how many propositions will go on the May 1 election ballot, Rhodes-Whitley said. There are no “new” projects proposed in the initial list that was presented to the City Council on Monday, she said.

“This is keeping up with what we already have on the ground,” she said.

Israelson told council members the city was aging and that it is getting more expensive to keep up with city infrastructure.

“We grew in bursts, and so we have bursts aging to the point of needing significant repair at the same time,” he said.