Williamson County commissioners called a $447 million roads and parks bond election Aug. 6.
The bond will be on the Nov. 5 ballot and will have two propositions—the first is for the issuance of bonds not to exceed $412 million for roads, and the second is for the issuance of bonds not to exceed $35 million for parks and recreation.
The county estimates the passage of the two bond propositions will not result in an increase in the county’s debt service tax rate of $0.1675 per $100 valuation, officials said.
“Williamson County is the fifth-fastest-growing county in the state of Texas. Through our long-range transportation plan, we have a path set to address that growth,” County Judge Bill Gravel said in a news release. “Transportation safety and mobility, whether through roads or trails, is important to maintaining the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in Williamson County.”
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization projects Williamson County’s population will reach just under 1 million people by 2030. In addition, the Homebuilders Association of Central Texas’ 2019 second quarter report found Williamson County was leading the tri-county area in new home starts with 6,930.
In March, the commissioners appointed a nine-member Citizens Bond Committee that met six times from March through June to evaluate whether the county should consider bond elections for roads and parks. In June, the committee unanimously approved recommending calling the election and suggested road projects totaling more than $573 million and parks projects totaling just over $67.5 million.
Williamson County voters previously approved the sale of bonds for roads and parks in 2000, 2006 and 2013, county officials said. In those elections, county voters passed bond packages for roads that constructed a total of 165 projects adding 301 new capacity lane miles and completed nearly 551 lane miles. The park bonds secured 3,559.5 acres of parks and preserves and 37 miles of trail, and it expanded facilities at the Expo Center and at county parks, officials said.