Revisiting city bonds: Leander works to complete voter-approved projects

Leander's 2016 bond program
Leander's 2016 bond program

Leander's 2016 bond program

Image description
A list of road and park projects in Leander.
Image description
Timeline for the Recreation Center project in Leander.
Image description
Timeline for the Senior Center project in Leander.
Over the last five years, the city of Leander has completed several 2016 bond-funded projects including road and park improvements. But several large developments remain in planning including the city’s first senior and recreation centers.

Next steps for these centers could depend on an upcoming city facilities study, which Leander City Council requested in May with results anticipated in November.

The bond program was approved in May 2016 with four propositions: $22.8 million for street improvements, $26.65 for parks development, $18 million for a recreation center and $4.19 million for a senior center.

Both centers were added to the bond project list in 2016 based on a city task force recommendation in which the senior center was a top priority, and a third-party survey showed public support for a community center, according to previous •Community Impact Newspaper• reporting.

Finished road projects that used bond funding include South Street and West Street improvements in Old Town Leander near City Hall and the Metro Drive extension, which will connect Leander’s Capital Metro station to the under-construction Northline mixed-use development.


Completed park projects include turf fields at Bledsoe Park, Veterans Park and the city’s largest park, Lakewood Park. Leander Mayor Christine Sederquist said Lakewood Park has become “the gem of Leander” as it is now a community meeting spot and has hosted city events.

“When you look at the east side of town, they didn’t have a city park previously,” Sederquist said. “So we went big on this one.”

Future projects include the San Gabriel River Park and Trail, a sports complex with multipurpose fields and a trail along the river; intersection improvements at West Street and South Street; and two more San Gabriel Parkway extension phases.

Another planned project is improvements to Raider Way and East Woodview Drive near Rouse High School and Knox Wiley Middle School to relieve congestion on the narrow road. Construction is expected to begin next summer and continue through the beginning of the school year. Flood plain plan changes caused the project to be redesigned and delayed, Sederquist said.

Senior center

Progress has stalled on the proposed senior center as a result of increased construction costs and site location considerations.

The proposed senior center will include administrative offices, a game room, a fitness room, a gathering area for up to 100 people, a commercial kitchen and an outdoor courtyard.

Leander has a large retiree population who wants somewhere to congregate, Sederquist said.

“They want a community. They want to feel connected,” Sederquist said. “We just don’t have a location.”

The project was paused in 2020 after a city committee wanted to reconsider the site of the senior center, which is planned at 709 Municipal Drive, to a site near Sonny Drive and Bagdad Road. The final location may be determined by the facilities study.••Other current delays are due to increased construction costs, and Sederquist said council members are currently waiting for a cost update on the project. In 2018, a cost estimate was provided at over $5 million.

“There’s a potential that it could be pushed off a little longer because of the market forces and the availability to have it funded,” Sederquist said.

Recreation center

As for the recreation center, the city has no current plans to begin the project for which progress hinges on selecting a site. ••Voters approved $18 million for the 50,000-square-foot recreation center, though no bonds have been sold for it yet. This will fund the design and construction of the project.

In an update to council in August, Parks and Recreation Director Mark Tummons said the community is in need of a recreation center because current programs are held in the library annex or other small rooms.

Tummons said the location of the recreation center is a major concern and topic of discussion. Site locations under consideration are near Glenn High School and near the Austin Community College campus.

“We’ve got the opportunity to really do something special with the recreation center if we can locate a site,” Tummons said. “I think our community is very much in need of a center.”

But until a land agreement is made, it is a nonstarter, Sederquist said.

"The bond is not going bad anytime soon. We have 10 years total to issue it, so it’s one of those things that we could do if the opportunity presents itself,” Sederquist said.•
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



MOST RECENT

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

curry pizza house chicken tikka
Indian-fusion pizza restaurant opening in Cedar Park

Curry Pizza House's menu includes traditional and Indian-fusion pizzas such as chicken tikka, curry chicken masala and tandoori chicken pizzas.

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
PEC members ask board to not raise solar rates

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

Lizzy and Brandon Simon are running the North Austin location. (Courtesy Lizzy Simon)
Operation Turkey to provide thousands in need with Thanksgiving meals

One local couple is running a North Austin site with the goal of serving 2,500 meals to those in need this Thanksgiving.

Williamson County officials met with Samsung executives at Dell Diamond in January. (Courtesy Williamson County)
For the love of the game: How baseball may have been perfect start for Samsung in Williamson County

The first attempt to bring Samsung to Williamson County relied on a passion for what is considered America’s pastime.

Capital Metro is still deciding if it will put the MetroRail Red Line above or below the North Lamar and Airport boulevards intersection. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with funding for one of Project Connect’s ‘most complex’ intersections

The North Lamar Boulevard and Airport Boulevard intersection will eventually have the Red, Blue and Orange lines running through it.