Voters picked their bonds, so what's next?

Voters picked their bonds, so what's next?
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Now that Amarillo voters have chosen the city bond propositions they want to see put into action, city staff is planning now to make these proposals happen.

Only 2 of the 7 bond propositions passed, and they are for streets and public safety upgrades.

This is still an almost $110 million bond expense to be issued over the next 5 years.

There's a lot of planning to be done, but city staff is wasting no time in getting these projects started, some before the end of the year.

"What you'll see is probably some construction projects, probably a lot of design going on with it," said Bob Cowell, Deputy City Manager. "I would say years 2 to 3 are when you're going to see the majority of actual work taking place."

By January, city staff is expected to present its 5 year plan to the Amarillo City Council, which includes the bond projects.

Road upgrades and new fire stations, emergency sirens and animal shelter facilities cannot all be built overnight.

The 45 projects in these two propositions will be spread out over five years, some not even beginning construction until the 5th year.

The fate of the projects in the 5 failed propositions is unknown.

"That will be a conversation that we will obviously have with us, the city council, and the city manager," said Lisa Blake, Amarillo City Council Member. "We'll have to determine what will we do, how will we meet these needs."

"Something that needed to get done next year may not get done for 2 or 3 years, and something that maybe could have gotten done in 5 years may now take us 15 years to do those, and some things just don't get done," said Cowell.

But $110 million worth of projects will get done.

Cowell estimates that a $100,000 home will see an increase of about $13 per year in property taxes every year for 5 years, or $65 total.

"This $110 million represents I think probably the largest non-school tax-supported initiative in the city," said Cowell. "So the voters have really trusted us with a great deal over the next 5 years, and we're going to honor that commitment and when we come out of this we're going to have hopefully made some significant progress."

Election administrators say there are about 1,200 ballots that have yet to be tabulated.

Some of them are from non-area voters and will not count, but they could change the results of one bond proposition.

Proposition 4, which deals with neighborhood park upgrades, only failed by about 450 votes.

We'll find out in the next week or so once these ballots are counted if it's enough to pass Proposition 4.

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