The Dallas City Council voted last week to hand over management of the city-owned Dallas Zoo to the Dallas Zoological Society, part of city manager Mary Suhm's effort to balance the fiscal 2010 budget.

The city said the move would save $1.5 million this year and many millions more in future years.

Suhm said maintaining services and expenditures at fiscal 2009 levels would cost $190.2 million more than the city expects to collect in revenue during fiscal 2010, which begins Oct. 1.

Dallas will also delay the sale of almost $355 million of general obligation bonds by six months, from November to May, to save $15.7 million in debt service. The schedule calls for a sale of $354.8 million of GO bonds and $23.8 million of equipment-acquisition bonds in fiscal 2010.

The city has $2.18 billion of outstanding GO debt, which is rated Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's.

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