In just a few weeks, San Antonians will decide the fate of the city's largest bond program in history. It entails more than 150 projects and totals $850 million.
More than likely you’ve probably seen a sign somewhere around town urging you to “vote yes” on the city’s bonds. So what does that include? It’s all broken down into six propositions. The largest is proposition 1 and calls for almost half a billion dollars for improvements to streets, bridges, and sidewalks.
Proposition 2 is for 19 projects that cover drainage and flood control improvements. One area needing major help is a section of Broadway Street where $42 million is needed for curbs, sidewalks, lighting, and other improvements. In all, 70 percent of bond funds would go toward streets and drainage. Much is needed for streets since many of them are in bad shape, also because the city maintains more than 4,000 miles of roadway.
Proposition 3 is for parks, recreation, and open space improvements totaling close to $200 million. Brackenridge Park would see close to $8 million for general improvements and rehab.
Proposition 4 covers improvements to libraries and cultural facilities.
Proposition 5 calls for improvements to public safety facilities. And proposition 6 is for neighborhood improvements.
“The great thing about this bond is there’s no tax rate increase. The city’s able to do it within our debt structure,” said Mike Frisbie, the director for the city’s transportation and capital improvements department.
While there’s no tax increase for residents, it would require the city to borrow more money. Frisbie said that all the projects are vital and, with the help of the city’s AAA bond rating, the debt will come at a low interest rate.
“It is built into the city’s financial picture and it still keeps us in a good financial standing,” Frisbie noted.
Coming up with the bond program was an extensive process with more than two dozen meetings and 1,400 residents in attendance. Frisbie said that, if approved, there’s already about 10 projects that are ready to get started immediately.
Election Day is Saturday, May 6.