Irving voters to cast ballots on city bond election in May

The city of Irving's latest bond propositions will appear on voter ballots in May. (Courtesy Fotolia)
The city of Irving's latest bond propositions will appear on voter ballots in May. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The city of Irving's latest bond propositions will appear on voter ballots in May. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Irving voters will decide in May the fate of seven possible citywide bond propositions.

Early drafts of the propositions allocate $227.8 million for street and transportation improvements, $137 million for public safety and $76.3 million for parks and recreation, according to a city-prepared summary. The seven propositions total $570 million in their current form.

Irving City Council is scheduled to hold a Dec. 11 work session that could entail changes to the bond propositions, Irving Chief Financial Officer Jeff Litchfield said.

An 18-person, council-appointed bond committee was tasked with whittling down $767 million of requested new projects. The committee’s work began Aug. 6 and spanned eight meetings before it submitted a final report for council approval at a Nov. 14 meeting.

Some of the notable projects included in the initial bond report are the construction of a new, $18.5 million library; a $5.5 million expansion of the city’s animal care campus; and a $4 million project at the Irving Arts Center.

If voters approve all propositions, the bond committee recommended the city increase its tax rate used for paying debts from $0.12 to $0.14 per $100 of property value. That move would “provide additional financial capacity to fund” the projects, committee Chair Mark Cronenwett wrote to City Council.

Council Member Al Zapanta said he hoped the committee would have presented a lower total bond amount and one that would not require the $0.02 per $100 valuation tax increase.

"There’s no question that they went through the process, but I’m disappointed [with] what they brought us,” Zapanta said at the Nov. 14 meeting.

Council Member Kyle Taylor offered an alternative point of view.

“They did whittle a bunch down,” Taylor said. “It’s now our responsibility to now take what their recommendations are and ... whittle it down to what we think is the right thing.”

Council voted 8-1 to accept the bond committee's report with Zapanta dissenting.

Voters will consider the final bond on election day, May 2.

Click the link below to see the full bond report:
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


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