Arlington bond package addresses needs and quality of life issues

As Arlington voters decide the fate of four propositions in a $236 million bond package, they should spurn advice from outsiders to “just say no” to any and all projects that add debt.

For residents in the state’s seventh-largest city, decisions should be based on the city’s needs and the amenities that not only address public service and safety but also enhance quality of life. This fast-growing municipality is still bursting with potential.

The bond proposal, which was designed after considerable public input and evaluation, fits that bill. It includes many projects identified by residents as necessities for a city that is striving for greatness: good streets, quality parks, improved fire facilities and modern libraries.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board has recommended voting for all four propositions in the Arlington bond package.

More than half of the bond money — $160 million — would go for public works and transportation. It includes $40 million for reconstruction of residential streets throughout the city, many of which are long overdue for an overhaul.

That’s all in Proposition 1, which also includes reconstruction of several major roadways and improvements to sidewalks, gutters and underground drainage.

The second-largest item in the package is Proposition 2 ($60 million). It contains 16 park projects, including a second off-leash public dog park and new recreation centers with pools in east and southeast Arlington. Also on the list are renovations to Harold Patterson Sports Center and Ditto Golf Course.

Proposition 3 sets aside $9.8 million for improved fire facilities, with reconstruction of Fire Station 1 and renovation and expansion of the Fire Training Center.

Libraries are the focus of Proposition 4 ($6.09 million). It will pay for a new East Arlington Branch Library co-located with the Hugh Smith Recreation Center, as well as remodeling and expanding the Woodland West Library.

All of these improvements can be made without increasing the city’s tax rate.

Early voting ends Friday, and Election Day is Tuesday.

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