Voters in both Harris and Montgomery counties approved road bond referendums during the Nov. 3 election.
Residents approved the $280 million Montgomery County road bond, with 28,859 residents, or 63 percent of voters, approving the measure. Thirty-seven percent of voters, or 16,690 residents, opposed it.
With $280 million in road bond funds at its disposal, Montgomery County plans to expand FM 1097 in Precinct 1, Fish Creek Thoroughfare in Precinct 2, Rayford Road and Woodlands Parkway in Precinct 3 as well as a variety of other projects throughout the county.
“The voters in Montgomery County saw past a lot of the nonsense, and they are ready to move forward,” Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal said. “I think it is important that we come together and ensure that our vision going forward is a positive one and that we address the needs of the seventh-fastest-growing county in the nation.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said he is enthusiastic about being able to move forward with mobility improvement projects paid for with bond funds. Precinct 3 covers portions of The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Oak Ridge North and the Rayford Road corridor.
“I am very pleased that the road bond passed,” Noack said. “The people demanded a better road bond in May, and that is what they got. They overwhelmingly supported it, and now we are able to start to improve mobility in Montgomery County.”
The bond followed a $350 million road bond referendum that was soundly rejected by Montgomery County voters in May primarily because of a proposed 6-mile extension to Woodlands Parkway from FM 2978 to Hwy. 249 in Precinct 2. The project was removed by the county from the new bond referendum, along with several road rehabilitation projects throughout the county, in order to gain the endorsement of the Texas Patriots political action committee—which was among the most vocal opponents of the May bond referendum.
Harris County bond
In Harris County, voters overwhelmingly showed their support for the $848 million in bond proposals. All four propositions received the support of at least 61 percent of voters in the Nov. 3 election.
“The vote is a confirmation of what the people in the precinct have been saying. And that is that transportation, mobility and infrastructure are their priorities for our local government to get behind and to work hard to provide the very best we can in the region,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle said. “This is what people care about, and when you have this large of an outpouring of support in a community, I think it just shows that what we have heard is correct.”
Proposition 1, which will provide $700 million in road projects countywide, received 260,105 votes, or 73.42 percent. The proposal includes $60 million for the maintenance of aging infrastructure in older neighborhoods. Harris County’s unincorporated population grew by 74 percent from 2000-14 while county road miles grew by only 40 percent over that time.
Cagle said the proposition will be critical to accommodating growth across the county but will also help improve the quality of life for residents by addressing their daily commutes.
“People come here because they can make a living here, and they also come to live among us because it’s a good place to be,” Cagle said. “By enabling us to continue the process of providing the infrastructure that our communities need so they can get around, we’re going to improve the quality of life.”
Voters also approved propositions 2, 3 and 4, which received 63.55 percent, 61.71 percent and 74.35 percent of the votes, respectively. Proposition 2 will provide
$60 million for parks and trails with each precinct in the county receiving $15 million. Proposition 3 provides $24 million for the expansion of the county’s animal shelter, and Proposition 4 provides $64 million in funds to the Harris County Flood Control District for flood mitigation.
The bond referendums are going to be paid down over seven years and will not lead to a property tax rate increase. Results are unofficial until canvassed.