Connect with us

U.S. News

Plano weighs $409 million bond referendum ‘wish list’ for aging infrastructure



PLANO, TX – A $409 million “wish list” for a bond package the city may bring to voters in some form in May was reviewed Monday by the Plano City Council. The proposed projects include extensive street repairs, park renovations and improvements to city buildings.

The price tag came from staff recommendations and will be revised and discussed over the next couple of months, said Karen Rhodes-Whitley, the city’s budget director.

Among the projects on the list are:

  • Street improvements of $236.9 million. That amount includes residential street and alley repairs ($70.1 million), traffic safety measures ($6.6 million) and computerized signal systems ($1.1 million).
  • Remodeling Fire Station 5, Fire Station 8, and parking canopies, $26 million.
  • Three fueling stations at service center facilities, $6.2 million.
  • Remodeling, roof replacements, and exterior lighting at existing buildings, overhead doors and windows, $11.9 million.
  • Park improvements, $112.5 million.
  • Renovation of the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, $15.9 million.

Rhodes-Whitley said the work is primarily devoted to maintenance and repairs, “keeping up with what we already have on the ground,” and represents no new projects.

“We’re an aging community,” City Manager Mark Israelson said. “And to keep up with our assets, to keep up with our infrastructure, it’s getting more and more expensive because we’re aging. We grew in bursts.”

That is why significant repairs are needed, Israelson said.

City council members emphasized the need to be frugal and to minimize any tax rate increase.

The proposed projects will next be reviewed by city council and boards and commissions. Meetings on the bond referendum will continue through February when the council will vote on what will be included in the bond election scheduled for May 1.

The first public hearing for residents’ input is expected to take place Nov. 23. On Dec. 18, the recommendations from the boards and commissions and citizen advisory committee will be forwarded to the city council.

Also in December and January, the council will begin hearing from city staffers about the proposed projects for parks and recreation, facilities and streets.

Additional public hearings are scheduled for Dec. 14 and Jan. 11. On Jan. 25, the council is expected to decide which propositions will be submitted to voters.

Based on current estimates, the bond would have to total $101 million, issued over four years, for there to be no tax rate impact, Rhodes-Whitley said.