By NICOLE JONES
City Council members acknowledged it more than once in recent weeks: The Nov. 5 bond election will be the largest in the city’s history.
A bond election has been the subject of city council and staff conversation for the better part of a year, beginning in 2018 with the appointment of a drainage subcommittee to evaluate the needs of the city regarding flooding. Earlier this year, the city also appointed a citizen’s advisory team to look at drainage as well as other needs and make a recommendation to council.
Six propositions representing a combined $76.7 million will go to voters this fall. Should all be approved, the impact on property tax rates would be anywhere from 5 to 10 cents, city staff have estimated. The current total city tax rate is 53.2 cents per $100 of assessed value.
In a special meeting last week, City Council approved an ordinance spelling out six propositions. They are as follows:
– Proposition A: $2 million for the first phase of a renovation of the public works building on Blackhawk Boulevard. The city is currently in a lease-to-purchase agreement for the old Food Lion building, which would be renovated for optimal use.
– Proposition B: $9.1 million for public safety building upgrades. These include a municipal public safety building and a new fire station and training field to replace Fire Station No. 2.
– Proposition C: $9 million for design, expansion and construction of a community center and emergency shelter on Morningside Drive.
– Proposition D: $7.6 million for transportation and mobility improvements. These include the extension of Friendswood Lakes Boulevard, also known as Friendswood Parkway, as well as $2.1 million in sidewalks.
– Proposition E: $8 million for parks, trails and recreation facilities, including buying land, improvements to Stevenson, Old City, Renwick and 1776 parks and $2.5 million for a new city pool.
– Proposition F: $41 million to serve as the city’s 25 percent match for coordinated drainage improvements. This amount was increased from an original estimate of $34 million to account for inflation.
The deadline to register to vote in the bond election is Oct. 7, and early voting will begin Oct. 21. For more information on elections, visit galvestonvotes.org.