DALLAS - When the Harris County improvement District No.1 sells $11 million of bonds today to pay for cosmetic projects around the upscale Galleria shopping center, no one will be happier than officials in the county seat of Houston.

With the city's budget stretched to pay for police and big-ticket capital improvements, Houston officials have endorsed the improvement district's bond plan as an innovative way to pay for projects that voters citywide would almost surely reject.

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