Plano weighing 2021 bond referendum that could fund more than $300M in infrastructure projects

The city of Plano is planning to hold a bond referendum in 2021 that would fund infrastructure projects for the city's roads, parks and facilities. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
The city of Plano is planning to hold a bond referendum in 2021 that would fund infrastructure projects for the city's roads, parks and facilities. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Plano is planning to hold a bond referendum in 2021 that would fund infrastructure projects for the city's roads, parks and facilities. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Plano is planning to ask voters in 2021 for approval to issue new debt that would fund infrastructure investments in the city’s roads, parks and facilities.

Plano Budget Director Karen Rhodes-Whitley told council members Feb. 10 the city expects the new bond package to total somewhere between $300 million and $350 million.

The projects would be selected by the city in consultation with a committee of residents and ultimately submitted to voters for approval in the May 1, 2021, election, Rhodes-Whitley said.

Plano voters approved $44.7 million in bond-funded projects in 2019. The proposed bond referendum for next year would also potentially exceed the $220.6 million package approved in 2017.

Much of Plano’s infrastructure was built in the 1970s and 1980s, when the city grew from a sparsely populated 18,000 to a bustling 129,000. When the city proposed its 2017 bond, Plano Director of Engineering Caleb Thornhill said that the city would likely see maintenance costs continue to rise as this infrastructure network continues to age.


“You factor in the age of these roads and then you factor in the increased traffic,” Plano Director of Engineering Caleb Thornhill said in 2017. “As the years have gone on, these roadways have seen a large increase in traffic from the growth in Plano, but also the surrounding communities.”

The list of projects funded by the 2021 bond will take shape in the coming months as city staff works with the committee of residents to narrow down the list. The city is expected to present a list of recommended projects to council members in October, Rhodes-Whitley said.
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By Daniel Houston

Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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