Missouri City City Council will appoint a citizen bond committee during its May 3 meeting, which will mark the city's first step toward calling a bond election.

The bond committee will consist of approximately two dozen individuals, with each council member and the mayor appointing representatives. Two ex officio board positions will be filled by a member of the Missouri City Planning and Zoning Commission and a member of the Missouri City Parks Board.

Several City Council members expressed certainty that having a large number of people on the committee will provide for a good representation of the city.

"If we are talking about moving a bond, we need all hands on deck," Council Member Cheryl Sterling said.

Staffers said the city is in need of a general obligation bond election to fund its capital improvement program—which includes projects related to transportation and drainage, parks and recreation, and public safety and facilities—over the next five years.

During council’s March planning retreat, city staff presented three scenarios for increasing the city’s interest and sinking tax rate, the portion of the city's property tax rate that pays for debt incurred from a general obligation bond, according to city documents.

For fiscal year 2020-21, the city adopted an interest and sinking rate of $0.14451 per $100 valuation. Under the low, median and high scenarios presented, the tax rate would be increased to $0.17, $0.18 and $0.1956, respectively, and revenue generated would be used to fund various projects.

The citizen bond committee will meet throughout May and June to discuss the city’s infrastructure needs and corresponding changes to its interest and sinking tax rate. The committee will create a proposal for City Council to consider in July.

If council moves ahead with a bond election, it will be on the Nov. 2 ballot for voters to approve or disapprove.

City Council also discussed how best to disseminate information to the community regarding a potential bond election, including hosting in-person and virtual open houses, making announcements through MCTV, and posting an FAQ to the city’s website, among other actions.

Council Member Jeffrey Boney said he wants residents to be well-informed and comfortable with this bond if it comes before them for a vote.

"This is a very, very important item," Boney said. "Bond elections are not something that happen every year, and when they do, they impact the citizens long term."

Missouri City previously held bond elections in 1985, 1995, 2003, 2008 and 2014. In 2014, voters approved $40 million for a new fire station as well as for transportation, drainage and facility improvements.