Montgomery County commissioners held a workshop April 23 to discuss road bond project needs for the county as well as the potential timing for a road bond. Commissioners have until Aug. 19 to order an election on a measure.

The details

After noting the need for a road bond proposition for nearly $1 billion in county road and infrastructure projects during an April 9 Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners debated the best timing for a road bond in the county.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley began discussion by stating the county should wait until May 2025 to hold a bond election in order to prevent the bond being on the same ballot as the 2024 presidential election.

Budget Director Amanda Carter said a delay in the bond election would also allow the county to have certified tax values on which to base the tax rate impact of a bond.

Taking a step back

Another issue discussed was the lack of a project list from Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, who was not present at the meeting. Ritch Wheeler, Precinct 3 commissioner-elect, spoke to the court regarding his research on potential projects within Precinct 3, stating he has gotten input from several entities.

Preliminary cost estimates from the commissioners outline roughly $1 billion in projects needed for Montgomery County.
  • Precinct 1: $500 million
  • Precinct 2: $90 million
  • Precinct 3: $200 million
  • Precinct 4: $260 million
The commissioners agreed that any bond issue would need to be over $500 million in order to reasonably complete projects in the county.

What they’re saying

“I'm not sitting in the chair yet,” Wheeler said. “I will be available to work with the court. I've already started working on a project list and myself have gotten input from the township from Shenandoah, Oak Ridge and several other stakeholders to try to find out what projects are important in Precinct 3.”

“I’d give anything if we could do a $1 billion bond, but we can’t,” Riley said. “There’s no way we’d be able to do that.”

“It's never convenient,” Keough said. “The real question is what is best for our people and what do they need and how quickly we can get into it.”

What’s next?

Commissioners directed John Roebuck, managing adviser of BOK Financials, to bring new forecasted tax impact on a bond issue based on higher county growth. Roebuck said he would be able to present the numbers at the next meeting of Commissioners Court, which is currently scheduled for May 7.