For the second time this decade, Montgomery County voters turned down a road bond referendum May 9 that would have funded the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of roads countywide.
Voters turned down the $350 million bond with 16,220 votes against the referendum, a 57.19 percent majority, and 12,143 voters showing support.
The proposal, which would have financed 77 road improvement projects throughout the four precincts in Montgomery County, prompted a debate among local officials and residents. Among the most controversial was a proposed expansion of Woodlands Parkway from FM 2978 to Hwy. 249 by Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley. The project drew criticism from residents and officials of The Woodlands, as well as fund allocations to road maintenance projects throughout the county.
Officials have not disclosed official plans for a new bond election. However Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack issued a statement calling for a new election in November, which would coincide with a planned Conroe ISD school bond election of an undisclosed amount.
County Judge Craig Doyal said the failed bond election means traffic problems would remain a concern for the county.
“The failed bond leaves us with no avenues to address mobility issues,” Doyal said. “Another bond election is definitely possible in the future.”
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador said, although he is disappointed the bond was not passed, Montgomery County voters have made their displeasure with the county’s road bond proposals clear to county officials.
“I am disappointed in the results because I think it is going to put us further behind, but the voters have spoken and we hear it,” Meador said. “They have told us twice in four years that they don’t feel like they need a road bond issued, or they don’t feel like we can afford it.”
Julie Turner, president of the Texas Patriots Political Action Committee based in The Woodlands, said voters would vote for a bond that would solve traffic concerns.
“With [about] 16,000 voters against the bond, it shows that people are paying attention and want their tax dollars spent efficiently,” Turner said. “I hope the commissioners understand that voters will support a bond if waste is taken out. It’s about solving mobility problems.”
Doyal said county commissioners plan to continue working with the Texas Department of Transportation and other mobility partners to create a new bond referendum that voters would approve.
“We just need to get the analysis on this recent bond and look at the results we saw,” he said. “There were so many issues that were misleading to people.”