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Fate of $1.2 billion bond in the hands of San Antonio voters

San Antonio, Texas, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The San Antonio City Council approved the list of projects included in the city’s largest bond program ever on Thursday.

The five-year, $1.2 billion dollar bond program includes 183 projects divided into six propositions. Voters will have the option to approve each of the six propositions in the May 7 election.

City officials said the 2022-2027 Bond is not projected to increase the City of San Antonio’s tax rate.

More than half of the bond is dedicated to street and drainage projects, in addition to 21 planned miles of new linear greenway trails and improvements to 30% of the city’s parks.

The proposals are:

  • $472 million for streets, bridges and sidewalks between 62 projects.
  • $272 million for parks and recreation across 82 projects.
  • $170 million for drainage and flood control between 23 projects
  • $150 million for affordable housing focused on 5 funding categories
  • $78 million for public safety facilities across 6 projects
  • $58 million for library and cultural facilities between 9 projects

This is the city’s first bond proposal to include affordable housing. A city charter was approved by voters in May of last year to allow the category to be included in bond deliberations.

The affordable housing funding does not have a list of projects similar to the other classifications and instead lists funding categories.

The funding categories, according to the bond:

  • $45 million for homeownership rehabilitation and preservation to include minor repair and remediation of code violations with a priority for homes at risk for demolition for households making up to 50% prioritizing 30% of the Area Median Income and below.
  • $40 million for rental housing acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation to prioritize public housing and income-based housing for households making up to 30% of the Area Median Income
  • $35 million for rental housing production and acquisition to prioritize public housing/income-based housing for households making up to 50% Area Median Income with a priority for 30% of the Area Median Income
  • $25 million for Permanent Supportive Housing for people experiencing homelessness to facilitate a housing first approach in line with HUD guidance
  • $5 million  for homeownership production for households making up to 80% of the Area Median Income prioritizing households making 60% and below of the Area Median Income

$249.4 million of the funding for the projects will come from federal, state, county, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) and Storm Water Regional. The city says these other funding streams will be an overall investment of nearly $1.5 billion into the city’s infrastructure.

Other bond project highlights include:

  • Replacing Fire Station #10 and #33
  • New police substation
  • Animal Control facilities
  • Citywide bicycle and pickleball recreational improvements
  • New park at Orr Drive and Suzette Avenue
  • The first phase of a new regional park in District 6
  • Magik Theater renovations
  • Phase 2 of the World Heritage Center
  • Citywide bridge and bicycle improvements
  • F-Streets reconstruction in all districts
  • Sonterra Road extension to Loop 1604
  • Intersection improvements on Wurzbach Road at Vance Jackson
  • Neighborhood sidewalk improvements in District 7

City officials said more than 700 residents weighed during the 20 public meetings held by the Community Bond Committiees.

Early voting for the May 7 election will take place from April 25 to May 3. Residents must register to vote by April 7.

“The community driven 2022 – 2027 Bond Program put before the voters will invest in the streets, sidewalks, drainage, parks, public facilities and housing of San Antonio. If approved by voters, these infrastructure improvements would be made without increasing the City’s property tax rate,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “Thanks goes out to the City staff, committee members and residents who helped craft San Antonio’s infrastructure plan.”

City Council special session on 2022 bond discussions stall over drainage, street improvements

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