By Betsy Dolan
The city of Missouri City is moving forward with plans to put a bond referendum on the ballot in May 2013 which will focus on street and sidewalk rehabilitation, drainage improvements, park and trail improvements and the construction of Fire Station 6.
A bond committee of 11 residents will be considered by City Council at its Sept. 17 meeting. The committee will be made up of representatives from Planning & Zoning, the Parks board, the city’s districts and five at-large members.
“We’re looking at a five year bond package to pay for rehabilitation work in the community. This will focus on projects that we can tackle in the next five years instead of more extensive capital projects. Fire Station six is the only major facility under discussion for construction,” Edward Broussard, City Manager told the council.
Mayor Allen Owen expressed concerns about Missouri City’s measure getting lost in an already crowded field of proposed bond proposals for the May election.
“I know the school district is fixing to do something. The county is fixing to do something. My concern is that if the school and the county go on the ballot at the same time, we would fail because of the impact being so large on the taxpayers,” Owen said. “I have suggested that we coordinate the roll out so that no one overloads the citizens with so many bond issues that they all fail.”
Broussard said that the bond referendum could be moved to the November ballot if the opinion is that the May ballot is too heavy. In November, Missouri City and Stafford residents will vote on a $425 bond referendum and incur a 2 cent increase in their tax rate for the Houston Community College System.
The bond referendum committee will meet weekly starting in October with a formal plan presented to the city council in December.
“If we move forward with this, where do our potential tax increases come into play and when do the projects hit? We want to be able to tell the voters, ‘This is what you are looking at as a tax increase if you approve this measure,” Broussard said.
In 2008, Missouri City residents overwhelmingly approved a $17.5 million dollar bond referendum for parks improvements which included construction of the new tennis and recreation facility, the new community center and the Quail Valley Golf Course.