Early voting now underway
By Elsa Maxey
Early voting started this Monday in Fort Bend County and it runs until Friday, November 1 for the General Election scheduled on Tuesday, November 5. For those not registered to vote, it’s too late for this next election since the deadline was Oct. 7.
But for the eligible voters living in Fort Bend County, what’s there to vote on?
Affecting residents in Texas, there are some constitutional amendments on the ballot, 9 of them listed as propositions.
Fort Bend County has a mobility bond referendum for road and bridge construction costing just about $185 million. Previous mobility bond referendums approved in Fort Bend were in 2000 and 2007 for which reportedly almost all the road projects have been completed. Fort Bend Commissioners Court announced plans not to increase the county tax rate to fund the mobility projects called for in this election.
If you live in Sugar Land and are registered to vote, consider Sugar Land’s three propositions amounting to $50 million of parks projects and broken down as:
1) the issuance of $18.5 million for a major 60-acre regional park at the intersection of Chatham and Easton, accessible from U.S. 59, 90A and SH 6, with trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, a pavilion, tennis center and several sports fields for cricket, soccer, lacrosse, rugby and flag football;
2) the issuance of $21.3 million bonds for parks and recreational facilities including phase two of Brazos River Park and an adjacent festival site; and
3) the issuance of $10.2 million bonds for parks and recreational facilities including a connecting network of approximately ten miles of hike and bike trails and bridges. The City of Sugar Land has planned a public presentation about the parks bond projects on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30-8 p.m., at city hall. It will no doubt include information about financing the $50 million park projects, which could result in a maximum five cent tax increase phased over five years, as reported by the city. The city reports its tax rate structure can support existing parks, streets, drainage and utilities, but it does not have the capacity for new parks projects.
In Fort Bend, there’s also the Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 2 (LID 2), which has a proposition for the issuance of $48,000,000 bonds for levee and drainage facilities and the levy of taxes, without limit as to rate or amount, in payment of the bonds. There’s also a request to voters for the authorization to create Fort Bend County Assistance District No. 6 and the imposition of a sales and use tax at the rate of one percent for the purpose of financing the operations of the district. Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No 19 (MUD 19) seeks the okay on a proposition to provide fire-fighting services for the district and the levy of mandatory fees for fire protection purposes.
Part of Fort Bend is in Houston and elections for mayor, city controller and at large and district councilmember races are taking place affecting residents in this jurisdiction. Also, Houston Community College has five trustee contender positions on the ballot, and Katy ISD has a bond package of $99 million on the ballot for an Agricultural Sciences Facility on Katy-Hockley Road; a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Project Center, and a second stadium that includes construction, acquisition and equipment, rehabilitation, renovation and improvement along with the purchase of sites for school buildings and the levying of a tax towards this end.
It’s important to note that not all the items considered within Fort Bend County will appear on everyone’s ballots. In order to have advance information about what’s impacting you, it is advised that a sample ballot that corresponds to your voting precinct be reviewed. Visit the Fort Bend County elections office website for one.
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