During a May 10 meeting, New Braunfels City Council directed city staff to pursue hiring a consultant to assist with improving its 2012 capital improvement plan, one of the resources used to guide the creation of bond elections.

The updated plan would be used for a proposed May 2023 bond election, and it would provide justification, timing, high-level cost estimates and rankings of proposed projects, according to city documents.

Capital Programs Manager Jennifer Kane said the city has a projected capacity for bond financing of $100 million-120 million.

"We've used some conservative property value projections to be able to come up with that capacity of $100 [million]-120 million," City Manager Robert Camareno said. "That's without a tax rate increase."

Kane also said $43 million of a $117 million 2019 bond has yet to be issued but is projected to be utilized in 2021 and 2022. City documents said a portion of the bonds may also be issued in 2023. Another bond, valued at $86 million, was passed by voters in 2013.

"2013 and 2019 [bonds] both had lots of projects that were recommended and many that weren't chosen, but they were very well needed throughout the community," Mayor Rusty Brockman said. "That gives us an opportunity to be able to try to evaluate those and use community input over the next couple of years."

A bond advisory committee is expected to be appointed between October and December, and it would begin meeting next January. The plan update is expected be completed by the committee in April 2022.

From April 2022-June 2022, the city will solicit bids on projects, and a design team will be selected.

Recommendations by the committee for projects to be included in the 2023 bond are expected to be finalized in fall of 2022.

The bond proposal will then be submitted to City Council in early 2023, and a bond election would be called if council members approve the bond package. The bond election could also be scheduled for November 2023 instead of May 2023, city staff said.