Georgetown staff have outlined a proposed bond program process, including purpose, a tentative schedule, a citizen bond committee structure, a public engagement and education plan, and anticipated cost to coordinate the bond program.
By 2022 the city will have substantially completed all construction for 2008 and 2015 road bond projects, staff said. Based on this fact, in mid-February City Council directed staff to study options for bringing a mobility bond proposal to voters in November 2020 for transportation projects.
On March 24 staff brought the outline to council but also sought direction on delaying the bond until a 2021 election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Council decided to readdress the bond proposal in May and postpone making a decision about whether it should be taken to voters in 2020 or 2021.
City Manager David Morgan said staff does need about nine months to run the full public process.
The bond’s purpose is to advance Georgetown’s connectivity and safety by upgrading streets, bridges, bike networks and sidewalks, and delivering projects consistent with community expectations to manage accelerated growth, Bridget Hinze Weber, assistant to the city manager, said in a presentation to city council. Specific goals include:
- increase capacity of roadway network with high traffic volume;
- improve intersections and build sidewalks throughout Georgetown to create new connections within and among neighborhoods; and
- coordinate with other planned transportation work to accelerate delivery to Georgetown residents.
The public would be asked to provide input on four categories of importance and the preferred methods to improve those categories, which include:
- improve safety
- manage congestion
- improve connections to neighborhoods
- improve quality of streets
The city also wants to gauge support of a potential tax rate increase through a bond package, survey the public sentiment of including other types of projects in the bond and offer an e-newsletter platform for bond program communications, Weber said.
Residents would be asked for feedback via open houses and online surveys.
Once the projects, bond amount and ballot items are approved by council, the city would conduct a campaign to educate and inform residents about the bond program and projects, Weber said.
Estimated anticipatory costs
- $50,000—consultant fee to develop detailed cost estimates and exhibits for each project including design, construction, ongoing operations and maintenance costs, and escalation factors for cost inflation over time frame it will take to administer the bond program;
- $3,000—committee support (food, printed materials)
- $10,000—public engagement costs
- $30,000—county fee for election management
Bond program schedule
1. Public engagement activities to receive feedback about the primary focus areas and sentiment for bond debt
2. Council approves appointment of citizen bond committee members
3. Citizen bond committee to start meeting
4. Provide public feedback to citizen committee
5. Ranking/prioritization and initial recommendation development
6. Second round of public engagement activities to receive feedback about the proposed bond projects
7. Final recommendation developed
8. Citizen committee presents project recommendations and report to council
9. Council adoption of finalized project list
10. Council calls bond election by deadline set by the Texas secretary of state
11. Outreach and education to public, agency partners and stakeholders until election day