Breaking Down the Bonds: Proposition 3

Breaking Down the Bonds: Proposition 3

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Proposition 3 deals with municipal facilities. This includes everything from re-roofing city buildings to making improvements to the zoo, the transit hub, improving technology and creating an active adult center.

Here's what you'll see word for word on the ballot:


"SHALL the City Council of the City of Amarillo, Texas, be authorized to issue general obligation bonds of the City in the principal amount of $42,550,000 for permanent public improvements and public purposes, to wit: constructing, improving, expanding, renovating and equipping municipal buildings including a senior citizen center and the acquisition of land therefor; such bonds to mature serially or otherwise over a period not to exceed twenty-five (25) years from their date, to be issued and sold in one or more series at any price or prices and to bear interest at any rate or rates (fixed, floating, variable or otherwise) as shall be determined within the discretion of the City Council at the time of issuance or sale of the bonds; and whether ad valorem taxes shall be levied upon all taxable property in the City sufficient to pay the annual interest and provide a sinking fund to pay the bonds at maturity?"

This is a $42,550,000 bond proposition that would fund 12 facilities projects.

Most of them are multi-million dollar projects, as you can see below:

Details for each individual project can be found on pages 45-55 of this document.

Let's start from the top.

Next Generation Radio System would add all city departments to one radio system, giving all workers instant access to each other in the case of an emergency.

"It is advantageous for us to do this, to move everybody onto the same system," said Kevin Starbuck, Radio Communications Manager. "If the police department is working security at a civic center event, civic center staff and the police department can communicate seamlessly."

The next multi-million dollar project is a renovation of city hall.

"That's basically redoing the infrastructure inside the building," said Jerry Danforth, Director of Utilities and Capital Projects. "That would be the mechanical and the plumbing. Most of that infrastructure was installed original to the building in the 1960s. Consequently a lot of that is deteriorating and needs to be addressed and needs to be updated."

Many work spaces in the building will also be upgraded, and some will be made accessible to the public.

A big portion of the money in this proposition would be used to restore the Santa Fe Depot located behind the civic center downtown.

"Issues that need to be addressed include ADA compliance and we have asbestos that would have to be dealt with," said Danforth. "We've looked at several end users that could potentially go in there. People have thought about potential restaurants, museum, actually a bed and breakfast has been proposed."

This monetary amount was calculated on the square footage cost it would take to renovate an historic building.

Currently none of the projects on Proposition 3 have funding outside the proposed bond.

If the proposition fails, these departments would need to seek other sources of funding.

Remember, any property tax increase that could come from this bond election does not affect home owners who are over the age of 65.

They will see no additional tax.

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