Over $400 million in unfunded city projects is being considered by a 36-person bond committee to potentially be included in a May municipal bond election.

The committee, appointed by McKinney City Council members, has met three times over the course of the past two months to discuss the projects being considered. A presentation by city staff at the most recent meeting, held Oct. 25, included a list of $436 million in unfunded projects up for consideration.

How we got here

City staff presented an update to City Council members Sept. 5 on the city’s bond funding and the potential for a bond election during the May election.

The update included a look at spending of funds from previous voter-approved bond elections, such as the 2019 bond that allotted $350 million to city projects, including public safety, municipal facilities, parks, public works and streets.

City officials have issued over $200 million of the bond funds approved in 2019, and just over $140 million remains. However, city officials expect that amount to be significantly lower at the end of fiscal year 2023-24, according to a presentation at the meeting.

Two additional bond sales are planned for the coming months, including $40 million in parks funding in fall 2023 as well as $51 million in streets and public safety funding in spring 2024, according to city documents. Following these bond issuances, the remaining balance of voter-authorized funds will be just under $50 million.

The gist

The bond committee includes five subcommittees that consider different aspects of the unfunded projects. The subcommittees include:
  • Finance
  • Municipal facilities
  • Parks and recreation
  • Public safety
  • Transportation and infrastructure
The bond could include a number of unfunded municipal and infrastructure projects, including major road projects, park renovation and improvement projects, public safety facility projects, renovations to existing city facilities, and construction of new facilities, according to city documents.

The details

The city can take on $711 million in debt over the next 10 years while maintaining the current interest and sinking, or I&S, portion of the property tax rate, McKinney Chief Financial Officer Mark Holloway said.

The I&S rate, which pays for the city’s principal and interest on its debts, was recently set at $0.140825 per $100 valuation.
Holloway said he uses a conservative financial model to determine the city’s debt capacity, considering factors such as future growth in assessed property value, interest rates, loan term and the tax rate.
What’s next?

The executive committee, consisting of one member from each of the subcommittees, is expected to meet Nov. 8 to finalize the bond committee’s recommendation, which is expected to be presented to City Council members in December or January, city staff said.

City Council will ultimately determine if the bond election is called, as well as the dollar amount and projects included. If they choose to do so, City Council members would be required to call a bond election by Feb. 17, according to the Texas Secretary of State website.

For more information on the potential 2024 bond election, visit www.mckinneytexas.org/1585/2024-bond-information.