Richardson City Council calls $190M bond election

(Courtesy city of Richardson)
(Courtesy city of Richardson)

(Courtesy city of Richardson)

Richardson voters will be asked to approve $190 million worth of infrastructure improvements following unanimous City Council approval of a resolution calling for a Nov. 2 bond election.

The bond package includes five propositions covering repair and maintenance projects related to streets, public buildings, sidewalks, drainage and parks. If approved, debt from the bond would be sold over a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2021-22.

Street projects make up the bulk of the package and include improvements to all streets graded “poor” during a recent citywide assessment. The $102 million proposition would also partially fund the reconstruction of Glenville Drive and McKinney Street and cover almost $9 million in traffic signal improvements and replacements.

Renovations at City Hall and the library—estimated at $36.1 million and $22.4 million, respectively—comprise most of the public buildings proposition. Improvements to Fire Station No. 5 and the Animal Shelter are also included.

The $8.5 million sidewalks proposition would pay for improvements in two residential areas as well as three commercial areas—all of which are located within the city’s newly minted Innovation Quarter. Construction of a new detention basin in the West Fork of Cottonwood Creek along with erosion control projects in three areas comprise the $8 million drainage proposition.

The $7.5 million parks proposition includes playground improvements at eight parks as well as activation phases for two vacant properties in the city’s parks system off Glenville Drive and Apollo Road.

Parks and Recreation Director Lori Smeby said during a February council meeting that the 7-acre Glenville property would serve as a detention site for regional drainage, but staff wants to eventually build a concrete, 8-foot wide loop trail for residents to use when the weather is dry.

Smeby said the 26-acre Apollo property would include space for athletic fields, a multiuse outdoor area and a flexible space that could house a future brick-and-mortar facility.

“[Activation] will allow open space to be used and will be key in building on future phases as we look to help them fully realize plans for each [property],” Deputy City Manager Don Magner said at the Aug. 16 council meeting, noting the bond only covers initial development of the sites and does not include construction of facilities or amenities.

Magner said the bond package represents only a fraction of the city’s overall plans for infrastructure improvements over the next few years.

“This is not our only capital plan,” he said. “This is just a snapshot of what the bond program is contributing to that larger plan, but as you see it still touches a large part of the city and has major impacts.”

Staff will spend the next two months educating the general public about the bond, Magner said. The bond election is scheduled for Nov. 2.
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.


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