Plano City Council moves forward with potential $364 million bond package for May election

The propositions for the 2021 bond will likely include roughly $231 million in streets projects, $96.4 million in parks and recreation improvements and roughly $36.4 in projects for facilities across the city of Plano. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
The propositions for the 2021 bond will likely include roughly $231 million in streets projects, $96.4 million in parks and recreation improvements and roughly $36.4 in projects for facilities across the city of Plano. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

The propositions for the 2021 bond will likely include roughly $231 million in streets projects, $96.4 million in parks and recreation improvements and roughly $36.4 in projects for facilities across the city of Plano. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Plano residents will likely face seven propositions totaling roughly $364 million as part of a 2021 bond referendum at the polls May 1.

Each of the seven propositions will include a number of projects grouped by departments or use, with the exception of one proposition calling for $15.9 million in renovations to the Tom Muehlenbeck Center.

Other propositions will include roughly $231 million in streets projects, $96.4 million in parks and recreation improvements and roughly $36.4 million in projects for facilities across the city of Plano.

City Council members reduced the $403.9 million package presented Jan. 11 to about $364 million at the Jan. 25 meeting, with the largest cuts coming from proposed parks and recreation projects. Cuts were made based on staff rankings for project urgency and the citizen bond committee's scoring of priorities. Council discussions and previous staff presentations also played a role in the choices, according to the council.

The most expensive project in the bond by far is street reconstruction and overlay, estimated at $100 million. City staff warned while preparing project proposals that street improvements would drive up the price of the bond due to Plano's aging infrastructure. The next highest project proposal is priced at nearly $21 million for community park renovations.


An item that received lengthy discussion before being included in the bond package was $5.5 million in renovations to the city council chambers. These renovations are focused on reaching Americans with Disabilities Act compliance for mobility and hearing, although some remodeling would also take place if the chambers were to be renovated. Separating out the costs of ADA updates versus general updates would be difficult to do, staff shared when some city council members moved to take on only a portion of that debt for the chambers.

Other items that were minimized to fit in the bond package were screening wall reconstruction, which was cut by $4 million, alley reconstruction, which was cut by $2 million, and fueling stations for emergency vehicles, which cut one of three proposed stations, or $2 million in costs.

The bond package will likely affect the tax rate in fiscal year 2024-25.

Based on estimates for previously prepared referendums, the roughly $364 million bond package—if passed in its entirety—would result in an annual tax increase of between $78 and $87 for an average Plano homeowner beginning in FY 2024-25. However, these rates fluctuate based on Plano home values and have not been calculated for this updated bond package.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution calling for the bond election Feb. 8. If the resolution passes, more information on the propositions as well as short- and long-term effects of their passage will be distributed by the city and shared at public information events. Early voting would run from April 19-27, and election day would be May 1.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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