Following up on this post last week, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously this morning to privatize the Dallas Zoo, turning over its operations and management to the Dallas Zoological Society. As Rudolph Bush at the Dallas Morning News's Dallas City Hall blog reports:
The privatization of the zoo will take effect Oct. 1 and is expected to save the city some $1.5 million this year and tens of millions in coming years. According to backers of the plan, the privatization will also open the door for increased donations to the southern Dallas attraction.
Council members Dave Neumann and Angela Hunt voiced some concern about the speed with which the city pushed the plan forward. They also sought information about the city's continued oversight of the zoo and the public's access to zoo records, particularly as they relate to animal welfare.
Overall, though, the council agreed that the plan will be a boon for both the zoo and the city. "This zoo I think can and will be regarded as one of the best in the nation," Mayor Tom Leppert said.