Saturday, March 2, 2013

A UTD Soccer Field Paid for With Taxpayer Funds?

Yup. It seems the city council (or some members) and the city management have decided that $2.8 million for UTD roads was not enough. Now it seems we are also paying for a soccer field parking lot as well.

Back during the bond election a FOI request was answered for how the cost of the bond package was put together. First step was to estimate how much a project would cost. Second step was to add 30% to the cost. The third step was to add another 5% to go into the general fund to pay for salaries. There were lots of complaints that it was idiotic to finance salaries for 20 or 30 years.

It seems the council heard those complaints and come to the conclusion that maybe those people complaining about the financing of salaries over years and years had some merit. It seem the city management is trying to ween itself off of 5%, very slowly.

Bond money is not a general purpose type of funding. When the public votes to pass a bond, there are restriction on how that money can be spent. It is sold to the public as going for a specific purpose and it should be spent for only that purpose. Building parking lots for UTD does not appear to be a named purpose.If he money is not spent for the road on UTD, it should be used to pay down the debt.

But maybe the city management needs that extra money to pay its over paid and large CM staff. Plano has 1 city manager and 2 deputy city managers. Plano is about 2.5 times as big as Richardson and has about 2.5 times as many people. Richardson is very top heavy in the CM office compared to the city next door. Plano's tax rate is about 39.1% lower than property tax in Richardson.

Update 3/4/13 - I asked a few of the council members about this. According to Laura and questions she asked about this, she was told that the city was not paying for the parking lot. She said they misprinted the sign.


  1. The old money shuffle. They whine about not having money to fix neighborhood roads and water/sewer systes, yet they p*** away millions of public dollars on this kind of stuff. Where was that in the agenda? And, what possible opportunity were the residents of Richardson given to weigh in on such an asinine decision?

  2. 6:08pm:
    I understand what you are saying. The problem is we have no one on the council that cares. AND, no one contested any race for the 2013 Council except the Mayoral race AND these two won't be any different.

  3. hmm. I wonder who is behind "North Texas Contracting". The name sounds fishy. Kind of like some attempt to hide the true recipients of the over-priced contract that results in kickbacks to relatives or Caribbean bank accounts of those who were involved in awarding the contract.

  4. The problem is: No one will go to council and question these kinds of things. Put in an "Open Records Request" on an issue. The city has 10 days to respond to your question. If people did that, the city would have to be more careful what they presented to the council and spend tax payers money on something other than Soccer fields. My alley has so much asphalt in it, I could make money off of it when they decide to repair it with concrete.

  5. Anon @ 6:08 P.M. 03/02/2013

    Richardson residents WERE given the opportunity "to weigh in" on spending the $2.8 Million on UTD "Roads and Trails" - in the 2010 Bond Issue election.

    But very cleverly, the UTD portion was not listed as a SEPARATE item for approval or disapproval in the 2010 Bond Issue - it was bundled together with improvements/repairs to Richardson streets and alleys. So if one wanted to solve just some of the bumpy surfaces and ruined alley probelems, Richardson voters had to approve the UTD boondoggle as well.

    What was also not mentioned in the 2010 Bond Issue notices was anything about voting for paving soccer fields.

    Cleverly done by city management. And either never thought important to question such a bundling by the Council or they didn't want or care to let citizens have an opportunity to separately vote improvements for UTD up or down.

  6. My understanding is that some people went before the council, but they were only told by city managers, "We don't need to educate you."

  7. So where EXACTLY is this parking lot and where are the fields?

  8. anon 9:10, on UTD property.

  9. Ummm... I thought "exactly" might have been self explanatory.

    Where EXACTLY on UTD property is this parking lot?

  10. Anon 03/04 9:09 AM
    Parking lot is just north of the new soccer fields built recently on campus north of Campbell and south of any UTD buildings. (Fields are where all the new tall light poles are)

    If you go north on Waterview past Campbell on the east side of Waterview, you will see the new road excavation which leads to the parking lot

  11. Anon @ 6:21 P.M. 03/02/2013

    I hired the good folks at North Texas Contracting 4 years ago and couldn't have been happier with their work; on time, within budget, and no nickel and diming me to death for a couple minor changes.

  12. JD, what public works project was that you had NTC do?

  13. This is the same group, by a different name, that had their BPP parked on the Gymnastics Center lot while doing trail enhancements. Their actual address shows no BPP on the tax rolls, leading some to suspect they are hiding from the tax man.