The Fort Worth City Council will resume meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 after a month-long break. 

Council members will focus on three major tasks: finalizing the city’s budget, allocating the last of the city’s federal money, and crafting a new policy for short-term rentals, like Airbnb and Vrbo.

If you go:

The public comment meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 2. In City Council Chambers, City Hall, 200 Texas St. People may sign up to speak here

The council’s month will kick off with presentations from city staff on the upcoming budget schedule and American Rescue Plan Act allocations at a work session Tuesday, Aug. 2. 

The city budget 

The city’s budget sets the priorities for the city’s development and serves as a “moral document” for the city, District 9 council member Elizabeth Beck, who represents parts of south central Fort Worth, said at a June council work session. 

“The budget is our opportunity to put our money where our mouth is — literally,” Beck said. 

The budget also determines how much Fort Worth residents will pay in property taxes. Council members can choose to raise, lower or maintain the tax rate to bring in more or less revenue. 

The city develops its annual budget year-round and seeks public input before finalizing the budget. The city is collecting public input about budget priorities from residents through social media campaigns and scheduled public input sessions. 

City staff will present a schedule — including at least two budget workshops for council members and four budget engagement meetings for residents — to council members at the upcoming work session. The council is scheduled to finally approve the 2023 budget at 10 a.m. Sept. 27. 

Here’s the full budget schedule, leading up to its final approval: 

  • Budget engagement meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd.
  • Budget engagement meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St.
  • Budget engagement meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.
  • Budget engagement meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, R.D. Evan Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.
  • Budget work session, 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • Budget work session, 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • Potential CCPD board meeting, 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • Budget work session, 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • Budget work session, 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • City Council meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • City Council meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.

The City Council will hold the final public hearing on the city budget, approve fee changes and discuss the Crime Control and Prevention District budget at a meeting Sept. 13. 

The City Council will adopt the final budget and tax rate at another meeting Sept. 27. 

Although these meetings include official public hearings, residents may comment on budget priorities at every public comment meeting leading up to the budget’s final approval — including at the Aug. 2 meeting. 

Here’s where you can learn more about the 2023 budget, with more coverage to follow: 

American Rescue Plan Act spending 

City staff presented a proposed spending plan for the remaining federal funds still in its coffers from the American Rescue Plan Act. The plan to allocate federal funds was put on pause during the council’s month-long break. 

The American Rescue Plan Act provided millions of dollars to local governments across the country. Fort Worth received about $173 million and has about $28 million left to spend.

The city could fund a $8 million housing project at Tobias Place and a $4 million gun violence prevention collaborative between Tarrant County, United Way of Tarrant County, the Fort Worth Police Department and eight other organizations.

City staff proposed a total of nine projects to use the remaining federal funds during the council’s last work session. 

Here’s a coverage guide to the reporting on the federal funds so far, with more to follow:

Short-term rentals

The city also will consider changes to its short-term rental policy this month. Council members likely will receive a report from city staff on the results of public outreach efforts in mid-August. 

The city hosted public comment sessions and anonymous surveys to gauge public input on short-term rentals. City staff will summarize the findings and present it to the council, who will decide on a policy based on four options. 

The city analyzes every piece of feedback, said Amethyst Sloane, community engagement manager with the city. 

The City Council could decide to extend the public comment period to gather more data. In the meantime, code compliance is not issuing citations to short-term rentals — which are still prohibited in residential areas. 

Here’s a guide the Report’s coverage on short-term rentals so far: 

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at rachel.behrndt@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Rachel Behrndt

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for fortworthreport.org. She can be reached at rachel.behrndt@fortworthreport.org