KERA’s B.J. Austin filed this report:
At a budget workshop today, Dallas City Council members took a long time to decide how to spend a little money.
Council members took more than two hours to decide how to spend an additional $329,000 in franchise fees.
Council member Tennell Atkins argued for some of the money to go to the Dallas Summer Musicals. He says the city can’t afford for the Fair Park Music Hall to be eclipsed by the newer venues in the downtown Arts District.
“If you lose that, that means that revenue would not be coming to Fair Park and there would be a vacant building,” said Atkins. “And so, what I’m trying to say is they are competing with downtown and we need to help the Dallas Summer Musicals to make sure that Fair Park is strong.”
On a straw vote, Dallas Summer Musicals netted $48,000. Cultural programs got an additional $50,000. The bulk of the “new” money went to a handful of swimming pools in South Dallas. The funds would allow them to open five days a week next summer instead of just two.
Dallas Council members take the final budget vote next week.