I put together last Sunday’s piece on the bond election proposed for November to offer a window into the kinds of things residents are asking for, since they don’t always align with the list that the staff puts together.
As such, the story is meant to be a 30,000-foot view. But, at times, such views lack precision. And I got two emails from the city this week asking for more precision and I’m happy to pass this information along.
In December, Lindsey Baker tells me, the bond committee received a presentation which showed how much could be funded before the city would have to increase taxes:
Staff estimated in December 2013, in addition to planned capital spending for facilities maintenance, vehicle replacements and street reconstruction, an additional $31.8 million in capital projects could be funded without raising the debt service tax rate. Staff estimates that a one-cent tax increase would facilitate a $50.8 million package, and a two-cent tax increase would be necessary for a $63.8 million package.
And city engineer Frank Payne offered this for parents who are requesting sidewalk routes along McKinney Street to Ryan High School and along Hickory Creek Road to McNair Elementary:
1. You discussed the sidewalks on McKinney and the fact that the TxDOT project will provide them. That’s true. However, you stated that “if the city added sidewalks now, they could be lost in a few years when reconstruction begins.” Also true. What I specifically conveyed was that there was no way to put in sidewalks or trails of any sort in the space available without also improving drainage and grades, changes which would be very expensive, and that the walks would be subject to replacement when the roadway project begins. It isn’t just about sacrificial sidewalks, which is reason enough in my opinion for the City to not put them in on a TxDOT roadway, but it is about doing advance work on the roadway (if it is even possible to do so) at great expense to possibly put in a pedestrian way that would be removed within a couple of years after its installation.
2. You mentioned sidewalks along Hickory Creek Road to McNair Elementary and that they “are on staff’s list of recommendations with the bond committee, Payne said.” What I said was that the widening and improvements to Hickory Creek Road was one of the proposed bond projects and that, if it is selected and approved by the voters, it will provide the needed sidewalks. Specific sidewalks are not on a recommendations list to the subcommittee. The subcommittee is being asked to propose Miscellaneous Sidewalks as they were approved in the last bond initiative so that staff can work on various projects which may or may not be proposed by the subcommittee.