With the recent passage of the 1992-93 City budget, the new Council has come “face to face” with the dilemma of how to continue to provide basic City services with diminished City resources.
In the budget, approved Sept. 23, all departments experienced some adjustments. The Police Department will be funded at the level necessary to provide three officers per 1,000 persons.
To accomplish this, officers currently holding administrative positions will be reassigned to enforcement duties, and civilians will be hired to fill administrative positions.
Other changes include increased funding for “SAFE Team.” This program is a coordinated effort of Housing and Neighborhood Services, the Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office designed to deal with properties that have a history of code violations and high crime rates.
Funding for at least one mobile storefront also was included. This vehicle will be used to respond to crime “hot spots.” Drug houses and locations where criminal activities are known to occur can be targeted using the mobile storefront.
The City Manager’s budget recommended eliminating six code enforcement inspector positions, but the Council, concerned this action would be detrimental to neighborhoods, reinstated the inspectors.
By combining the code enforcement responsibilities of Streets and Sanitation with Housing and Neighborhood Services, duplication of work will be eliminated and enforcement activities should improve.
Cuts in Planning and Development will not delay the initiation of the Northeast Dallas Land Use Study. This comprehensive land use plan, long overdue, should start next month, and with the extensive involvement of volunteers from Lake Highlands, should be completed next year.
Once the plan is approved by the Council, it will serve as the development guide for our community for the next five to 10 years.
On Sept. 23, the Council authorized staff to proceed with analysis of the nine apartment complexes offered for sale by the Resolution Trust Corporation. This process should be completed in approximately 60 days.
At that time, the Dallas Multifamily Housing Acquisition Corporation will decide on which properties to submit bids.
On Oct. 15, the City Plan Commission recommended approval of Intervest’s application to rezone a portion of Audelia Heights Apartments. The request was made in order to make the zoning on the southern portion of the complex compatible with the existing use.
The date for the hearing before the Council has not been set. Watch for notices in the Dallas Morning News, or call my office (670-4068) to find out when it will be heard.