A bond election on the May ballot will ask McKinney voters to authorize funds that would be used to rejuvenate aging city facilities as well as create new ones.

The election was added to the ballot by McKinney City Council members at a Feb. 6 meeting and includes five propositions for a total of $485.5 million. Voters will consider approval of each proposition individually.

The bond package was recommended by a 36-person citizen bond committee that met multiple times throughout the fall to consider which projects to include. The propositions include funding for projects across multiple city departments, including new facilities and upgrades to aging facilities. The largest amount is earmarked for transportation projects, both for new roads as well as repairs to existing arterial and residential roads.

”The main thing is to understand how much work there is to do ... to keep the streets looking well for the residents ... and then still providing for the additional growth that’s happening in the community,” Director of Engineering Gary Graham said.
Diving deeper

A project to construct a new municipal court facility is proposed in Proposition B and, if approved, would replace the city’s 58-year-old court building.

The city's court, which saw over 13,000 new cases filed in fiscal year 2022-23, handles some misdemeanor cases as well as city ordinance violations, according to city documents. The court building, located southeast of the downtown square, is the only city facility still being used for its original purpose.

“It has reached [the end of] its useful life,” Director of Strategic Services Trevor Minyard said of the facility.

Fire Station No. 3 is also slated for upgrades if Proposition D is approved, Fire Chief Paul Dow said. The station, which was built in 1993 and has not seen any renovations since, has the smallest living quarters of any fire station in the city, he said.

Proposition D, if approved, would also provide funding for new public safety facilities that would accommodate the city's growth. These projects include:
  • Acquisition of land and construction costs for a future fire station
  • Reconstruction of Fire Station No. 8
  • Construction of a driver training pad
  • Renovations to the police administration building
"For us to continue to provide excellent service to the community, we're going to need some additional resources," Dow said.

Other projects proposed for funding through the bond include the first of three phases of improvements at the Public Works South campus, construction of new ball fields at Gabe Nesbitt Park, additional pickleball courts at various McKinney parks and improvements at Towne Lake Park.

How we got here

The city of McKinney has held four bond elections for various projects since 2010. Some funds that were authorized in the 2019 bond election have not yet been issued, Chief Financial Officer Mark Holloway said.
By the numbers

The bond, if passed, will not increase the tax rate, Holloway said.

Holloway said he uses the current debt service tax rate when determining the city’s debt capacity to avoid any negative impact on the overall property tax rate. The city’s debt capacity is $711 million, which is a high capacity, Holloway said.

When considering the 2019 bond, Holloway estimated an interest and sinking tax rate, or debt tax rate, of about $0.17 per $100 valuation. Since that election, the city has issued over $300 million in debt while also lowering the debt tax rate to just over $0.14 per $100 valuation, he said. McKinney’s taxable property valuation has also increased by over 65% to nearly $36 billion in that same period.

“We’re able to stay within the parameters that the voters are giving us, and we’re able to also ... reduce the tax rate,” Holloway said. “With the growth that McKinney is seeing, I don’t see that changing over the life of this next bond election.”
The impact

The bond committee recommended the projects included in the bond package after considering a larger list of the city’s unfunded projects and hearing information from multiple city officials.

“Our responsibility to evaluate these topics and make a recommendation to the City Council was something that I know ... [the committee] took very seriously,” bond committee member Dean Cimini said.

If one or more of the propositions are not approved, city officials are required by the state to wait three years before adding the projects into a new bond election, Minyard said.

“We're a growing city with growing needs,” McKinney City Council member Justin Beller said in an email. "The items on this bond election are about delivering services to a growing community."