A final thumbs up from San Antonio’s City Council to a proposed list of $830-million worth of bond projects.
Much of the focus of the proposed work will be put on road improvements–but City Manager Sheryl Sculley said the list also includes much more.
“Over 200-miles of sidewalks, drainage improvements to prevent neighborhood flooding, parks and recreation, libraries, fire stations, and community facilities” Sculley said, adding the work would be spread out across the entire City.
“80% of the recommended projects are within the ten City Council Districts…Only 20% is recommended for Downtown infrastructure” Sculley said, pointing out the proposal does not include a property tax rate increase.
The proposal represents what would be the largest-ever bond program for San Antonio.
“We will be investing in projects that are well designed, that are attractive, that create a great quality of life… but also that are delivered efficiently and cost effectively” Mayor Ivy Taylor said.
Councilman Ron Nirenberg–who will challenge Taylor in the Mayor’s Race in the spring–echoed similar support for the bond plan.
“Every corner of this City is touched by this bond” Nirenberg said.
Not everyone is happy with what hey see. Critics said plans for upgrades at UTSA facilities, and a land bridge at Hardberger Park are things taxpayers should not be paying for.
“Money for public art is another bond item that should be funded by the private sector we believe” said Bob Martin with the Homeowner Taxpayer Association of Bexar County.
Others are a bit put off by what looks to be a very steep price tag. George Alejos urged the Council to take a closer look at the full list–and make sure what’s being asked for is really needed.
“More importantly, I want to make sure this bond addresses the quality of life issues that are so important to us” Alejos said.
But there was little support among Council for taking a closer look–though Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran asked for the Hardberger Park Land Bridge Project to be separated in to a separate bond question for voters. Her motion was not seconded, and she ultimate;y voted in favor of the bond package.
“It is very important that we get this passed” Councilman Mike Gallagher said, urging people to vote “Yes” on the bond in the spring.