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A Further Look at the City's Proposed Budget Cuts -- And, Hey, Look at the Cool Signs

It was shaping up to be a busy day at Dallas City Hall even before the Trinity River press conference was added into the mix yesterday; if nothing else, we should get some idea today where the city council stands on the proposed private parking lot booting ordinance, kicked to the curb last week and moved to a hastily assembled 4 p.m. Transportation Committee meeting this very afternoon. Which doesn't even begin to touch the myriad other issues facing the council committees today -- everything from regulations for so-called supergraphics on downtown edifices (including "a civic building, a convention center, library, or performance venue") to the discussion of historic tax incentives for the Hickory Street Annex to a breakdown of buildings burned down by arsonists.

But city budget obsessives will be most interested in two briefings scheduled for today. This morning, the Economic Development Committee gets a further look at items to be nixed from the FY2009-'10 budget in its so-called Economic Vibrancy Key Focus briefing. Ironic that just as the city's about to give private parking-lot operators the power to boot, it's also considering eliminating from parking enforcement 10 positions charged with enforcing meters -- which are scheduled to increase in price 25 cents to cover a teensy-weensy bit of the city's $190 million budget deficit. The Public Safety Committee also gets a further breakdown of cost reductions, which includes the elimination of police hiring bonuses, trims DPD overtime by 24 percent and doesn't allow for the replacement of 19 ambulances, which only have a lifespan of three years, according to the briefing.

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