Breaking Down the Bonds: Proposition 5

Breaking Down the Bonds: Proposition 5
Proposed remodel of the Buchanan St. entrance to the civic center (Source: City of Amarillo)
Proposed remodel of the Buchanan St. entrance to the civic center (Source: City of Amarillo)
Proposed grand lobby addition to the civic center (Source: City of Amarillo)
Proposed grand lobby addition to the civic center (Source: City of Amarillo)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Proposition 5 deals with one project and one project only: expanding and renovating the civic center.

Here's what you'll see 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 $83,430,000 for permanent public improvements and public purposes, to wit: constructing, improving, expanding, renovating and equipping civic center facilities 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?"

Pretty vague, right? Well it doesn't get much clearer here either:

So let's break it down.

In that one project are several areas of the complex that will see renovation.

"It was be a total rehabilitation and expansion of the north end of the facility, which would affect our meeting and convention space, our banquet space and our trade show space," said Sherman Bass, General Manager of the civic center. "It does not, however, enlarge or replace the coliseum."

Coliseum renovations were proposed in the original $900 million bond compilation, but it was removed when cuts were made to the overall bond request.

Proposition 5 would tackle the main entrance of the complex on Buchanan, which would be renovated and made separate from the loading docks.

"This kind of separates the pedestrian and guest traffic from the move-in exhibitor traffic," said Bass.

The north exhibit hall would gain an extra 9,000 square feet to become a 30,000 square foot ballroom.

The existing ballroom would be transformed into a dedicated catering kitchen and 20,000 square feet of breakout meeting space.

Bass said there has been a high demand for more event space than the complex currently has.

Another addition would be a new exhibit hall triple the size of any existing ones.

"The expansion piece is a 75,000 square foot exhibit hall would be placed just east of the current north end of the facility that would be divisible into 3 separate bays so we could accommodate 3 different trade shows," said Bass.

Hallways would be redone, and a grand lobby would be built.

"When you walk in you would be seeing something totally different from what you see today," said Bass. "It is more than just a kitchen, or an exhibit space. It is a total rehab and expansion of that north end."

If this or any bond passes, homeowners will see at least a 2¢ property tax increase every year for a 5 year period.

That amount can go up to 4¢ per year depending on how many propositions are approved.

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