Councilman Jim Watters Discusses Bankhead Beautification and Millage Rates As He Launches Campaign for Reelection

Ward 3 City Councilman Jim Watters is running for a third consecutive term for a seat on the Carrollton City Council this November.

Watters was the guest on Monday’s WLBB Community Voice program. During that interview, Watters said he prides himself on spending tax payer money on worthwhile projects that are good investments for the city. One project mentioned is that of the recent Bankhead Highway beautification project, which will see renovations on the road that will make it pedestrian friendly.

“We’ve got the money to do it. We have healthy reserves with the city. This is an example of, in my opinion, a good use of tax dollars. We are investing right back into our community which is what you are supposed to do,” said Watters.

“If we had bought a leer jet I would expect y’all to get mad at us. But this is a project that will benefit everyone and hopefully the property owners on that street will agree.”

The Bankhead beautification project has seen controversy because it will require 2 permanent lane closures on Bankhead Highway between Cedar Street and Thomas Newell Way, leaving only a three lane road. Many critics site potential traffic issues that might deter drivers from traveling the route.

The city’s cost estimate in total for the project comes in at $3.9 million.

During the Community Voice, Watters also discussed the city’s millage rate.

Carrollton Mayor and City council held the last of three public hearings for the city’s millage rate on Monday at noon. Council passed the rate of 4.60 mills, which is the same as the previous year. However, due to an increase in the county’s tax digest, maintaining the millage rate effectively raised the tax dollars collected from property owners as a whole.

Before voting in favor of maintaining the rate, Watters told the Community Voice program:

“We are not rolling it back so therefore we have to advertise it as a tax increase. I did want to point out that in the last 5 years we have rolled back twice. We are at 4.6 mills now and five years ago we were at 4.68 mills. So we have rolled it back twice in five years. We have just decided not to do it this year.”

The city estimates to collect $4.4 million from property taxes. That’s about $630,000 or 16% more than last year.

Watters will see three challengers on ballots in November. Also running is Usama Ahmed, K. Dawn Goodwin and Tina Shockley.