If the committee decides a need exists to call a road and park bond election, the court requested the group recommend a value for a bond election and provide a draft list of projects. The committee is to bring its findings to the court as soon as possible but no later than June 27.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner Valerie Covey said the committee will work with cities and other entities within the county as it forms a potential bond proposal.
“As we have grown and as we have worked really hard to come up with alignments for corridors, the much larger roads and arterial system, and because of the cost of everything, we’re going to really have to focus and prioritize the projects that are the most regional, or the most hopeful,” Covey said.
The court approved forming the committee March 28, after weeks of working around a shortfall in funding from the 2019 road bond program. Commissioners chose to issue $150 million in short-term debt to pay for projects stemming from the 2019 proposal. While officials found funding to complete construction the county committed to, not all of the projects from its secondary list—to be tackled if money was left over—were funded.
While a potential bond package could fund some of the leftover projects from 2019, commissioners anticipate the committee’s list of recommended projects to cost more than the funding the county receives. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Russ Boles said the county has more demands that it did not have four years ago.
“We see where our cities cannot annex property like they have in the past,” he said. “So a section that us and a city had planned on being in a city, isn’t going to be in a city. So some of their roads aren’t going to be paved by the city.”
Boles said more groups are attempting to establish municipal utility districts in areas of the county where officials thought road construction could be delayed.
“We’re being driven to act sooner,” he said. “If we wait, the costs become exponentially higher.”