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Dealey Plaza Redo Will Be Cheaper Than Expected, So Private Donors Can Now Put Away Their Checkbooks

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Judith Segura thought raising the $1 to $2 million in private donations needed to restore Dealey Plaza before the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination would be a cinch.

It wasn't.

"It's been a lot harder than I expected, frankly," Segura said. "There was nobody who didn't agree completely, 100 percent, that it needed to be done, but it was a little bit harder for people to get out their checkbooks to support it."

The improvements, the most extensive since, oh, about November 22, 1963, will restore the plaza to something more like what you'd see in the Zapruder film. That includes touch-ups to planters and pergolas, some educational signage, and a pretty major redo of the landscaping to take things back a half century.

Dealey Plaza is city property, but its finances were such that the city could kick in only $400,000 of the projected $2 million needed for completion. Hence Segura's efforts on behalf of the Dallas Foundation to raise the extra cash.

The bids are now in, and it turns out the city doesn't need quite as much money as it expected. The whole project (sans fountain repair, which will be bid out separately and is expected to cost about $300,000) comes in at $1.2 million, "so we actually have a little bit left," Segura said.

The donation should become official on Thursday when the Park Board votes on accepting $672,362 from the Dallas Foundation. The city might need a little more on top of the $150,000 extra the foundation has, but just a little. Certainly not the million or so Segura expected she might need, which is good news.

"The bottom line is, we've got enough to do it."

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