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Coppell expects a flood of recreational projects in the 2024-25 fiscal year

Coppell expects a flood of recreational projects in the 2024-25 fiscal year

The Coppell Recreation and Development Corporation Board of Directors adopted its recommended budget and work program for fiscal year 2024-25 at its July 8 meeting.

The CRDC is a special sales tax revenue fund for recreation and entertainment in Coppell, managed by the CRDC Board, a seven-member team of residents and City Council members. The board outlined renovation projects at various parks and sports facilities throughout the city in its proposed plan for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

“The CRDC fund gives us the extra boost we need to take care of the things we have built and established,” said Jessica Carpenter, director of Community Experiences and board liaison.

The details

The budget proposal calls for planned spending of $5.8 million and expected revenue of $5.6 million, said Budget Officer Jesica Almendarez.

Although there is a discrepancy between projected costs and revenue sources, revenue is a conservative estimate that is almost always lower than total revenue from year to year, Carpenter said. The state requires the CRDC to maintain a current fund balance as a savings or emergency fund.

“If we were 100% on target (in revenue and expenditure) and there was a deficit, we would take it from the remaining fund balance,” she said.

According to the documents, the CRDC expects to begin the 2024-25 fiscal year with a fund balance of $31.2 million, which has increased annually since $19.4 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year, which Carpenter attributes to an increase in people spending money in Coppell, a possible effect of the Discover Coppell campaign.

CRDC fund expenditures for the 2023-24 fiscal year are $5.3 million, with revenues of $5.9 million, according to city documents. However, the city expects to collect an additional $4.07 million by the end of the fiscal year in September. Any excess funds will be added to the fund balance for future use.

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Funds from the proposed budget will be used for salaries and benefits for Coppell Arts Center employees, as well as improvement projects at the center. The budget also includes funding for supplies, maintenance costs, and capital improvement and renovation projects at local fitness centers and parks, Almendarez said.

The full list of projects includes:

  • Playground in MacArthur Park, resurfacing and renovation of toilets and snack bars
  • Replacing the turf and net of the batting cage at Wagon Wheel Park
  • Restoration of the pond in the eastern part of Andrew Brown Park and replacement of the picnic tables
  • Replacement for the basketball hoops at Andrew Brown Park West
  • Lawn replacement at Coppell Middle School North
  • Replacing cardio equipment and flooring at Coppell Senior and Community Center
  • Replacement of the indoor play area at The CORE
  • Replacement of the retaining wall at the Wagon Wheel Tennis and Pickleball Center
  • Resurfacing tennis and pickleball courts and general repairs to concrete and seams on parkways and sidewalks
  • Renovation of the break room and open space for staff, as well as maintenance and operations at the Coppell Arts Center

The context

According to city documents, the CRDC implements projects for amateur sports for youth and adults, entertainment and facilities for public gatherings, exhibitions and museums, and parks and recreational facilities.

It differs from a parks and recreation department known in Coppell as “Community Experience” in the way it is funded and how it allocates funds, Carpenter said.

While Community Experience is primarily funded by property taxes, the CRDC is funded by sales tax, which takes a half-cent from every sales transaction made in Coppell. The city estimates that 60% of the revenue collected comes from non-Coppell residents who commute to town for work or business.

Since 2013, CRDC revenues have largely funded improvements to the Cozby Library and Community Commons, the Andrew Brown Park system, trails, medians and green space, the expansion of Life Safety Park and the Coppell Arts Center, city documents show.

The arts center is funded entirely by the CRDC through sales tax, Carpenter said. The center generates revenue through rentals, programs and ticketed events.

“These revenues go directly back into the CRDC fund, which can then be reallocated to projects or the operation of arts centers,” she said.

In addition to $7.9 million in sales tax revenue, the CRDC expects $720,000 in revenue from the Coppell Arts Center in fiscal year 2024–25, based on city documents.

Go forward

The CRDC budget will first be reviewed by the council at the budget workshop on July 15. This will be the council’s first opportunity to review the budget, ask questions and make recommendations, Carpenter said.

The final budget will be adopted on August 27, simultaneously with the approval of the entire city budget, and will take effect on October 1.

Under its bylaws, the CRDC is required to provide a 60-day review period for public input on the proposed work program and to hold a public hearing for community feedback, Carpenter said. The CRDC board is planning Sept. 16 for that public forum.

City officials will present each project individually to the City Council and then to the CRDC board for approval before contracts are awarded or work begins, Carpenter said. Final cost estimates for each project will be announced as the city works through the bids and presents each item to the City Council.

“We are receiving non-binding offers for the preparation of this work programme. So we will not know the actual costs until the entire budget is approved,” she said.