Council members called for a bond election to be placed on the May 6 ballot consisting of five propositions totaling $473.4 million. If approved by voters, the propositions will authorize the sale of bonds to fund city capital projects related to public safety, roads and streets, parks and trails, a downtown parking garage, and more.
Proposition A authorizes $131.4 million in bonds for both the fire department and the police department, according to the presentation. If approved by voters, the bonds would fund a new fire station, equipment, vehicles, a remodel of Fire Station No. 4 and a new fire fleet services building.
Bonds from this proposition would also fund a new parking garage and lot at the police department headquarters as well as a public safety training center to be used by both departments.
Proposition B authorizes $240 million in bonds for street and road construction and improvements, about $85 million more than what voters approved in 2019. The city still holds $25 million in bonds from previous elections that are expected to be sold in May, according to an engineering services presentation.
Engineering Services Director Paul Knippel said the increase in bond money requested for roads has more to do with the cost of construction. It costs $3.2 million to construct one lane for 1 mile, according to the engineering services presentation. That cost includes lighting, paving, drainage, irrigation and landscaping.
If approved, the bonds from proposition B would fund several projects listed on the city’s five-year capital improvement plan, some of which are only partially funded or not funded at all.
Proposition C designates the issuance of bonds in the amount of $39 million for funding a joint parks operation facility/building services maintenance building and an additional logistics center building.
If approved, Proposition D would authorize the issuance of about $43 million in bonds to fund parks, trails and open-space projects listed on the city’s five-year capital improvement plan. The plan is heavily focused on connectivity via hike and bike trails, per a Frisco Parks and Recreation Department presentation.
Proposition E would authorize $20 million in bond money for construction of a four-level parking garage in downtown Frisco, if approved. The garage would hold 390 parking spaces, according to a bond committee presentation.
The only proposition not being placed on the ballot proposed $5 million for constructing, improving and equipping an animal shelter located in Frisco, according to a bond election ordinance document. The bond committee recommended the proposition to council during a Jan. 17 work session.
Police Chief David Shilson said during the meeting his department's mission is to reunite lost pets with their owners, increase adoption rates and educate Frisco residents. The department’s animal services division does not need a shelter to do these tasks, he said.
An animal services division presentation to the bond committee cited high euthanasia rates, staffing difficulties and funding as key issues noted in other shelter cities. City staff estimated it would cost about $15.2 million to construct and operate an animal shelter based on 2025 cost projections.
More than 10 people spoke during public comment in support of sending the $5 million proposition to voters during the Feb. 7 meeting. Council members discussed changing the language of the proposition before sending it to voters in May. Several council members said they would support a partnership with a privately operated shelter in the city.
Council Member Angelia Pelham said she believes funds need to be allocated to animal services solutions in the city, but a shelter is not the only option. She requested city staff return to council within 60 days with solutions for reunification and adoption rates as well as education in Frisco.
“I think it's been clear that we still have quite a bit of work to do,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “I think that's what we discovered tonight, and we want to do that in partnership with the public and those that advocate on this position.”
Council Members Laura Rummel and Brian Livingston said they would have voted for the second ordinance to include the animal shelter proposition in the upcoming bond election.
Frisco residents can learn more about the Citizen Bond Committee and access its reports via the city website.