Richardson nears end of $115 million bond program, ramps up planning for potential 2021 package

Deputy City Manager Don Magner briefed council on the city's progress in finishing the 2015 bond program while planning for the 2021 package at a July 20 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)
Deputy City Manager Don Magner briefed council on the city's progress in finishing the 2015 bond program while planning for the 2021 package at a July 20 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)

Deputy City Manager Don Magner briefed council on the city's progress in finishing the 2015 bond program while planning for the 2021 package at a July 20 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)

City officials in Richardson are wrapping up projects from the 2015 bond program while simultaneously planning for the next referendum, tentatively scheduled for November 2021.

The last municipal bond was approved in 2015. Projects in the $115 million program were parceled out over a six-year period and covered improvements to public buildings, streets, parks and sidewalks.

“Every part of the community was touched by the bond program in one way or another,” Deputy City Manager Don Magner said at a July 20 council meeting.

Two of the major projects still in the pipeline are enhancements to the public library and City Hall. The city was fortunate, Magner said, to have waited until the end of the 2015 program to advance on these plans, as many decisions about improvements will likely have to be made with new safety and hygiene guidelines in mind.

“The timing is really fortuitous if we are going to do some things to [make the projects COVID-19]-proof,” he said.


Staff will bring forth recommendations for these buildings in October, Magner added.

Seven remaining street projects from the 2015 program are either in the design phase or under construction, Magner said. One of the major projects includes improvements to Custer Road between Campbell and Arapaho roads and along Prairie Creek Drive from Campbell to Collins Boulevard.

Initial cost estimates have changed since they were developed in 2014, Magner said. This is due both to scope changes and inflation, he said. To complete the remaining road project, the city will have to pay an additional $7.5 million more than originally budgeted.

“We had no idea the kind of inflation that we were going to experience as a result of the crazy, robust economy we have had in North Texas, so we are seeing a pinch on some of the Year 5 and 6 projects,” Magner said.

Another $625,000 will be needed for renovations to the Richardson Senior Center, and $2.5 million will be needed to finish construction on the new Richardson Public Safety Campus, Magner said.

Just over a year remains until the city plans to bring its next bond package to voters. Staff chose November 2021 for the election because there are few other competing races, Magner said.

“It really provides the public with the opportunity to ... educate themselves about the different propositions and choices before them,” he said.

For the next several months, staff will work with council members to refine potential projects for the 2021 bond, Magner said. Recommendations for improvements will come from several ongoing studies into the improvement of streets, traffic signals, drainage infrastructure, parks, buildings and more, he said.

Budget constraints brought on by COVID-19 will be taken into consideration when deciding which projects are in the best interest of the city’s bottom line, Magner said.

“Unlike previous bond programs, ... we will have to continue to really focus on operational recurring costs of any decisions we make in terms of capital and what that might mean for year-in, year-out budgeting,” he said.

Propositions will be finalized between May and July of 2021. If voters approve the package in November 2021, projects would begin in 2022 and last through 2026.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Viewers can enjoy live music from their car at the Tupps Brewery drive-in concert in McKinney. (Courtesy Tupps Brewery)
Here are 7 in-person and virtual events to attend in and around Richardson

Check out these events happening in August and September.

Good Vibes Bar & Grill is expected to open Sept. 18. (Courtesy Good Vibes Bar & Grill)
Sports bar and entertainment venue Good Vibes Bar & Grill coming soon to Richardson

The business will have live music every Friday and Saturday, in addition to darts, pool, dancing and karaoke.

Sonic Drive-In will open a location on Lake Forest Drive in McKinney. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sonic Drive-In opens in McKinney, Koto Hibachi and Sushi now serving diners in Frisco: News from DFW

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Physical therapy is one of the services offered at the clinic. (Courtesy PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Richardson)
PAM Rehabilitation Hospital opens in Richardson

The practice offers physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

Richardson ISD is expected to reopen campuses Sept. 8. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper)
Masks, meals and more: 5 things to know before returning to Richardson ISD this fall

Families have until Aug. 6 to make their final decision for virtual or in-person school by responding to an email sent by the district

In the last year, Whataburger launched a new, modern restaurant design and began offering curbside and delivery services for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. (Courtesy Elizabeth James for Whataburger)
Whataburger to celebrate 70th anniversary, unveil food truck, expand into 3 states

Nine more new Whataburger locations are planned by year's end, and 35 new restaurants are proposed for 2021.

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
U.S. Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

The self-response deadline has moved up to Sept. 30.

City Manager Dan Johnson explained the importance of the resolution at a Aug. 3 council meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)
Richardson City Council votes to allow waiver of Texas law restricting property tax increases of more than 3.5%

State law permits the action when a natural disaster declaration has been put into place; however, there are no plans to issue the waiver for the upcoming fiscal year.

A new Whataburger location is expected to open Aug. 17 at 3052 Golden Triangle Blvd., Fort Worth. (Courtesy Whataburger)
Whataburger coming to Northeast Fort Worth, upcoming events in Frisco: News from DFW

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Texas sales tax
Report: With boost in e-commerce, Texas sales tax receipts increased 4.3% in July

The loss of extra unemployment support could send numbers back down, however.