Hill Country Village City Council unanimously voted Aug. 17 to order a special election in which voters will be asked to approve two potential funding sources for a new City Hall.

The background

City officials have sought ways to fund a project that will involve demolishing the existing City Hall facility and replacing it with a 11,512-square-foot building containing public meeting, administrative, municipal court, police and public works spaces. The estimated cost is $4.72 million.

On Nov. 7, voters will face three separate ballot measures, two of which are designed to support a potential City Hall project.

A closer look

One measure will ask voters to authorize repurposing money leftover from the city’s 2019 street improvement bond.

According to the meeting agenda item, voters may be allowed to consider repurposing up to $3 million in proceeds remaining in the street bond, but City Administrator and police Chief Frank Morales said the final amount may wind up being around $2.8 million.

A second measure will ask voters to let the city put back on the market a publicly owned 14-acre tract at Tower Drive and Bitters Road. The undeveloped tract will be sold with R-2 residential zoning, meaning each single-family home lot can be up to 4 acres.

The city originally envisioned using part of the tract to build a new City Hall, but community pushback prompted officials to keep the City Hall site at 116 Aspen Lane. Local officials said proceeds from selling the tract could help to cover costs of a new City Hall project.

City Attorney Marc Schnall said if voters approve both of these measures, the city’s bond and financial advisers can guide the city in assembling available funds for a City Hall project.

"So you can be assured you’ll have the dollars for the project or if you have to do some value engineering,” Schnall said.

Elections Attorney Rose Kanusky said if voters reject the land sale ballot question, the city simply retains tract ownership.

Additionally, the Nov. 7 referendum will ask voters to reauthorize 0.5% sales tax to help fund street maintenance.