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Judge Eads Update: Planning Ahead for Growth

A lot has been happening in Denton County this past fiscal year that I would like to share.

We have attracted $1.14 billion in investments to Denton County by bringing in such major companies as Carhartt, DrinkPak, and McMaster-Carr in Alliance, Schluter in Roanoke, and Wells Fargo in Lewisville. These five companies will create an estimated 1,533 jobs in Denton County, many paying an average of $70,000 to $80,000 in annual starting salaries. With more than 1 million residents and at least 86 newcomers arriving daily, we believe that bringing good-paying jobs to Denton County provides opportunities for our fast-growing population to live, work and play here.

We are also excited to share that plans are underway to create a Denton County Expo Center in northern Denton County off I-35 near Milam Road. The Expo Center will likely begin with a multipurpose facility to provide much-needed space for large events. Denton County hired CSL to do a feasibility study, which showed sufficient market demand existed to support a multipurpose facility on the county-owned property. The study showed the multipurpose facility could handle 174 events each year, attracting 244,900 attendees, and filling an estimated 41,200 hotel room nights. The total economic impact in Denton County is estimated at $33.4 million. While we look forward to the new developments heading our way, we also realize the importance of ensuring our residents receive top-notch services from Denton County at a reasonable cost.

Our number one priority to Denton taxpayers this year was to lower the tax rate by almost three cents, creating the lowest tax rate since 1986. The proposed FY 2023-2024 budget is $396 million, with a proposed tax rate of $0.189485. As costs have increased for everyone, it was important to our Commissioners Court to keep that at the forefront of our budget planning.

Other key factors include:

● 5 percent slide in the pay scale for all employees
● Expanding our Juvenile Justice System due to state-mandated ratios
● $3.5 million for Public Safety: Includes increasing minimum starting salaries for law enforcement by 14 percent, increasing fire service, rescue funding, new positions, rising cost of inmate food, and out-of- county inmate expenses
● $1.7 million for County Road & Bridge Improvements: Increasing the County’s pay-as-you-go system for county roads
● $2.49 million for Judicial & Legal: Adding new positions to enable the setup of a second Grand Jury to handle the backlog and increasing numbers of cases coming through the District Attorney’s Office (And thanks to your overwhelming support (74.1 percent or 3-to-1 votes in favor) for our $650 million Denton County Bond program last November, the transportation infrastructure in Denton County will continue to expand to meet the growing demand. Recently, we sold our first tranche of road bonds — $110 million — to begin laying the groundwork for a number of projects in each of our four Precincts across Denton County.

Some of the largest projects outlined in our transportation plans include:

● Loop 288 West – From I-35 to IH 35W
● Loop 288 East Frontage Roads – From IH 35 to US 380 East
● FM 1171 West – From I-35W to West of FM 156
● I-35W Frontage Roads – From FM 1171 to 35E/W Merge
● US 377 North – From US 380 to Proposed Outer Loop
● Outer Loop – From I-35 to DNT/County Line
● FM 1515 – From Masch Branch Road to Bonnie Brae Street
● FM 1173 – From I-35E to FM 156
● FM 2931 – From US 380 to FM 423
● FM 1385 – From US 380 to FM 455
● FM 1385/Gee Road – US 380 to FM 1385

As we look ahead to 2024, we are excited about the future prospects for our Denton County residents. And know that we are always on the lookout for ways to conserve funds while continuing to address the needs of a growing county.

Connect With Us

If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is andy.eads@dentoncounty.gov, and my office number is 940-349-2820.
For more information, register for my newsletter at www.Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup

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