Wednesday, July 27, 2016

City Gets Ready to Pitch Near-Billion-Dollar Bond to Voters

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:45 AM

  • Alex Donaldson | Creative Commons
The City of San Antonio is preparing a massive $850-million pitch to voters for the city's 2012-2017 bond program.

Officials have said the near-billion-dollar price-tag will help San Antonio prepare infrastructure for an estimated population influx of one million people over the next couple decades. The bond categories include streets, bridges and sidewalks; drainage and flood control; parks and recreation; facilities and improvements; and neighborhood improvements.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ivy Taylor announced the appointment of three chairs who will pour through community feedback, help prioritize potential projects, manage bond committees and organize community meetings. The chairs are Eddie Aldrete, senior vice president of IBC Bank, Carri Baker, chief of operations at law firm Linebarger Blair & Simpson, and Darryl Byrd, co-chair of SA Tomorrow, a city-sponsored community-wide planning initiative. Both Aldrete and Baker had roles in the 2012-2017 bond program.

Each category of the bond will have a committee and City Council members are picking their appointees right now. That should all be tied up by the end of the month. In early August, City Council is expected to decide how to divide the proposed bond funding between the five categories, and the bond committees will work on what projects to include and which ones to cut between September and October, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

A list of recommended projects will go to City Council in December, where the final plan will be up for approval in early 2017. Then, in May, it's up to San Antonio voters to decide whether to let the city issue nearly a billion dollars of debt. Voters previously approved $596 million in 2012 and $550 million in 2007. The majority of those bonds were also used for infrastructure.



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