The Missouri City Bond Exploratory Committee recommended the city call for an $86.4 million bond election to be on the Nov. 2 ballot during a July 28 special City Council meeting.
The $86.4 million bond would represent the city’s maximum remaining bond capacity and require a maximum interest and sinking tax rate of $0.1956.
Under the Bond Exploratory Committee’s recommendation—led by chair Everett Land and vice-chairs Vickie McBride and Jonathan Winfiele—the bond would include three separate propositions:
- Streets, roadways and mobility improvements;
- Parks & recreation; and
The committee recommends approximately $50.6 million of the bond be used for streets and mobility projects, including completely reconstructing many roads that have surpassed their maximum lifespan, Winfiele said. City officials said streets in the worst condition would be prioritized and projects will be done in every City Council district.
“We know—and I know you know—we can't do it all at one time,” Land said. “It's going to have to be done in steps.”
Among the proposed projects recommended in the $22.6 million parks & recreation proposition are $10 million to improve infrastructure and amenities at Sta-Mo Sports Complex and $3.5 million to enhance Freedom Tree Park.
The $11 million facilities proposition would include upgrading city facilities so they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other building codes, addressing safety concerns, and remodeling and expansions.
Although considered by the bond committee, an $8 million police training facility was not included in the recommended list of projects.
“The police facility from the bond committee was seen as a nice-to-have [item],” Winfiele said. “We were basically talking about what are those things that are life that we need to do, what are those strategic things and what are those maintenance things that we really need to do.”
Land said the committee’s total recommendation leaves a little more than $500,000 unallocated. Additionally, Winfiele said $15 million of the funds included in the bond would come from Fort Bend County, and there are contingency funds built into the proposal.
The interest and sinking tax rate—$0.1455 in fiscal year 2020-21—will increase each year until the max rate of $0.1956 is reached in FY 2025-26, according to city documents. Missouri City’s total tax rate of $0.598035 in FY 2020-21 is composed of the I&S rate and the maintenance and operations rate.
Based on average home prices, the increased tax rate would cost the average homeowner an additional $121 per year in Fort Bend County and $76 per year in Harris County, documents show.
McBride said the committee opted for the highest tax rate option because the cost of money is currently down.
“If we have this opportunity now to have additional funds that we can be able to divide into the three buckets, we should do it at this point,” McBride said.
City Council will consider a final list of projects during its Aug. 2 meeting. The council has until Aug. 16 to call a special election. Election Day is Nov. 2.