Frisco bond committee approves proposed $267.8M package

The Frisco Citizen Bond Committee voted Jan. 26 to recommend a $267,825,000 bond package to City Council later in the week.

The council will have until Feb. 27 to review the recommendations, make any changes and call for a bond election in May. Committee Chairman Frank McIllwain will present the proposed bond package to the council Jan. 30.

The package includes $10 million for the proposed performing arts center. Although the majority of the committee voted to send this recommendation to the council, several members were against proposing any money for a facility this year.

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The main concern among members who said they were against the recommendation was that the proposal was too ambiguous.

"We have to go and defend [this proposal] to taxpayers, and we don't have the details to do that," committee member Terri Von Lehmden said. "I don't want to say it will never come to pass. I want it to be a project that has an opportunity to really go forward."

Committee member Tammy Meinershagen, who originally proposed $20 million for an arts facility, presented several details about the project to answer previous questions from other members.

A nonprofit organization has offered to take over operations of the center should it be approved by voters, Meinershagen said. Also, a feasibility study to determine the size of a facility and to look at ways to creatively finance the project would take about six months and cost about $200,000, she said.

Meinershagen asked the committee to give an arts facility a chance.

"If we're going to discuss [an arts center], it has to be something that is showing what we're doing for the future," she said. "I believe that this bond package is the opportunity now."

Assistant City Manager Nell Lange said City Council will be given the background on the committee's debate over a performing arts center.

Meinershagen said she hopes the council gives the proposal a chance to go to the voters.

"We have had a rocky road as we have tried to build a center for the arts in Frisco, but it's time to move forward," she said. "Let's see what can happen."

Deputy City Manager Henry Hill also came to the committee asking to increase the recommendation for a City Hall expansion by $7 million. The expansion would include expanding the existing library in the building and adding a courthouse.

The expansion would add about 150,000 square feet to City Hall, including adding basements.

Lange said this increase would not affect the tax rate forecast the city has already made for the bond committee.

The committee ultimately voted to increase the City Hall expansion proposal to $40,325,000.

The committee also approved the following bond proposals:

Facility and building requests

  • Fire Department: $40 million

  • Police Department: $1.5 million

  • Parks and Recreation Department: $11 million


Roads requests

  • Roads: $125 million


Parks and open space requests

  • Parks: $30 million

  • Grand Park: $10 million


McIllwain reminded the committee that if voters approve these proposals, it does not mean the city will have to spend the money to pursue these projects.

"We have to remind ourselves that we're authorizing," he said. "We're not actually writing the checks."