August 31, 2016

Bonds for Better Bellaire 2016

We had a great turnout at Monday night's Town Hall Meeting on the upcoming bond election.  The residents who spoke posed some very good questions, and prompted a lively discussion covering a number of important issues.  Thanks to all who participated or perhaps watched at home; if you missed it, the video replay is available, here.

As was presented at the Town Hall Meeting, we're working hard to ensure you have access to all the information you need to make an educated decision when you cast your vote.  Please visit our dedicated Bonds for Better Bellaire 2016 page on the City website for details and supporting documents:  bellairetx.gov/bonds2016.

Additionally, we invite you to submit any questions you may have about the bonds by e-mail to bonds@bellairetx.gov.

Here's a quick overview of the 3 propositions:

Proposition 1 – Streets, Drainage and Sidewalks ($24 million)
This program is essentially the successor to the 2000 Bellaire Millennium Renewal and 2005 Rebuild Bellaire bond programs, and will continue our systematic approach to replacing streets and drainage systems according to their relative priority, with sidewalks on at least one side of each street as they are replaced.  These ongoing infrastructure improvements remain the backbone of our local focus on flooding.
Proposition 2 – New Municipal Facilities ($5.6 million)
As I've written about previously, the price tag for our municipal facilities project has gone up as a result of:  (i) the delay to solicit and implement additional public input, which led to changes in the site plan and building designs, and (ii) expanded plans for the police station, to better meet the department's current and future needs.  This bond proposition supplements the authority previously approved by the voters, and if it passes construction will begin in early 2017.
Proposition 3 – Water and Wastewater Improvements ($24.38 million)
Included in this proposition are the utility infrastructure improvements we've talked about extensively in recent months.  Funding for these projects will be supported entirely by the Enterprise Fund, so they'll be paid for out of our utility bills and will have no impact on property taxes.  When City Council opted to go to the voters instead of issuing certificates of obligation, the affected projects were added to this proposition.  The performance contract for utility system improvements is revenue-neutral because the contractually-guaranteed efficiencies created by the project will more than offset the cost.  This bond proposition also provides some relief on our water rates as the cost of delivering the service is more spread out over time.
These are important decisions for the present and future of our city.  On behalf of the City Council I wish to express our sincere appreciation to each of you for taking the time to become well-informed about these bond propositions and the improvements to be funded.

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