Collin County officials point to the county’s continual population growth as the main reason behind the $683.4 million bond package voters will consider as part of the Nov. 7 ballot.

County officials are looking to make infrastructure and facility improvements due to their increased use by the growing population.

“Growth is the big issue,” county Engineering Director Clarence Daugherty said. “Collin County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, and that just puts a strain on all the services in the county.”

The overview

Daugherty worked with the county planning board, which organized the bond package for the commissioners’ approval.

Proposition A would include an expansion of the justice facilities. Proposition B would allocate funds to expand the county’s animal shelter. Proposition C would replace the existing medical examiner’s office, and Proposition D would direct funds to a number of parks.

Proposition E, the largest funding sum, will go toward various road projects. County officials said the road projects are expected to include:
  • Rebuilding county roads that are projected to be overloaded
  • Developing regional corridor roadways
  • Improving city thoroughfares
Some roadways within the county see 10,000 cars a day, Public Works Director Jon Kleinheksel said. Beyond traffic numbers, large trucks used for development construction are causing wear and tear on existing roads, so upgrading those roads and creating new ones is essential, he said.

Diving deeper

As Collin County’s population grows, so does the number of animals and pets housed at its animal shelter, county officials said.

The shelter expansion is desperately needed, said Joanie Brown, a Collin County Animal Shelter animal control officer. The shelter was built in 2006 and has not been expanded in that time.

“[The shelter hasn’t] grown so we’re just extra full with having to house all the extra animals,” Brown said.

Collin County cities, such as Frisco, McKinney, Prosper and Celina, contribute animals to the shelter through their individual animal control departments, Development Services Manager Misty Brown said via email. Other entities, such as Plano, have their own shelters available.

County population growth also has led to a need for more outdoor spaces, officials said. Some bond funds from Proposition D are earmarked to improve Frisco parks.

Three Frisco parks are recommended to receive funding to cover portions of three outdoor space projects. The funding for the projects was requested by city officials.
  • Parvin Branch Trail connector
    • $351,255 project cost
    • $100,000 recommended funding
  • Independence hike and bike trail
    • $606,660 project cost
    • $211,920 recommended funding
  • Powerline hike and bike trail
    • $1.23 million project cost
    • $250,681 recommended funding
Also of note

Justice facility projects to be funded by Proposition A include:
  • Completion of the Adult Detention Center infirmary expansion and the jail kitchen renovation
  • Expansion of the Russell A. Steindam Courts Building to add 12 courtrooms and office suites as well as a garage for 400-plus vehicles
  • Construction of an additional housing cluster for the Juvenile Justice Department as well as the relocation and expansion of the Plano Juvenile Probation Office
"More population means unfortunately more people need to be jailed,” Daugherty said.

The county’s juvenile center has seen an increase in the number of juvenile arrests since 2016, though there was a dip in 2020-21 because of COVID-19, according to county data. Juvenile arrests are projected to grow by nearly 47% from 2022 to 2028.

As the population increases in the county, it also means more cases the medical examiner will need to process, Daugherty said.

Proposition C looks to replace the existing medical examiner office with a new one that will be larger and better equipped, Daughtery said.
  • The project would be partially funded for nearly $4 million by the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • The original building was built in the 1980s.

The cost

The bond, if passed, will not increase the county’s debt tax rate, Daugherty said.

Though the tax rate is almost 6% lower than •previous years, 2023 average home values are nearly 14% higher than 2022, according to a county presentation.

“The law limits the increase of taxable value to 10% per year if you have a homestead exemption,” Daugherty said.

Roughly, the debt tax rate will be about the same rate residents saw last year, he said. The average Collin County homeowner will see a $7 increase in their tax bill that will go to debt service, Daugherty said.

The takeaway

The planning board narrowed the bond scope for commissioners.

“We really do feel like we’re kind of behind a little bit on where the growth is,” board Chair Rusty Glover said at an Aug. 7 commissioners meeting.

Collin County’s population is set to nearly triple to 3.4 million people near 2070, Daughtery said.

“This growth is not something new,” he said. “It’s not just a flash in the pan.”

Alex Reece contributed to this story.