Friendswood’s Citizens Advisory Team presented its recommendations for a potential bond June 24. The CAT began work in late February with over 75 members contributing to five different bond-related teams: finance, drainage, transportation, facilities and parks.
While the committee did present its recommendations, the recommendations are not set in stone, nor is the bond. The city has discussed a November bond, it has not called for it yet. The recommendations, which were presented in a special meeting workshop, will be discussed and potentially voted on by City Council. Ultimately, council will make the decision of whether there is a bond, when it is and what is on it.
The CAT suggested the bond be broken into five different categories:
• a civic center/potential shelter, totaling $7.7 million;
• drainage and public works, totaling nearly $49.5 million;
• parks, totaling $6.5 million;
• public safety, totaling $9.1 million; and
• transportation, totaling $7.65 million.
If all propositions are put on the ballot and passed, the bond amount would total an estimated $80.45 million.
The CAT suggested a maximum of a 5 cent tax increase to finance the bond.
The CAT also recommended adopting the flat property tax rate for the city, and setting aside the additional money that brings to pay for capital projects as they come up. Adopting the flat tax rate would likely bring more money to the city, as the rate would remain the same for the citizens, but citizens would likely pay more due to property tax increases. City Council members Robert Griffon and John Scott spoke up opposing this plan.
“My problem is that I don’t really want to ask the citizens to set aside money that we’re not telling them what we are using it for,” Griffon said.
Some of the council members questioned why the drainage recommendations from the CAT included less line items than the proposal that the city-appointed drainage subcommittee recommended in April, but ended up costing more. The extra cost was written in for a number of reasons, including the CAT estimating that it might need to spend more on buyouts along the creek than what had been originally estimated, CAT member Philip Ratisseau said.
The bond items could be workshopped at the July 1 meeting, City Manager Morad Kabiri said.