A bond referendum gives voters the power to decide if the City of McAllen should be authorized to raise money, through the sale of bonds, for specific purposes. A general obligation (G.O.) bond is a long-term borrowing instrument in which the City pledges its full faith and credit (taxing power) to repay over a specified term.
The bond referendum on May 5, 2018 will provide an opportunity for the voters of McAllen to choose whether the City should issue debt to pay for certain drainage and traffic improvement projects.
In 2015, the City of McAllen conducted a citizens’ survey and two of key issues that were identified by residents as a priority they would like for the City to address were drainage improvements and traffic mobility. These were developed into priority projects incorporated into a proposed bond election that was approved by the City Commission to take to the voters of McAllen.
If residents vote in favor of the two bond financing questions on the May 5the ballot, the City will have the authority to issue $25 million in G.O. bonds: $22 million for drainage improvements and $3 million for traffic improvements.
The City plans to focus on two specific areas of improvement with the money from these bonds: drainage improvements and traffic enhancements.
Drainage projects would address the city’s stormwater management including minimizing flooding, widening drainage outlets, increasing capacity at detention flooding ponds, and other related infrastructure improvements.
Traffic enhancements would include installing new traffic cabinets and controllers. Additionally communication would be improved through the installation of fiber to the signals and a comprehensive traffic study would be conducted. These measures would synchronize signals along major corridors.
The City’s current property tax rate does not have the capacity to pay for all projects in the Drainage Master Plan, as well as implement the traffic improvements all at once. The City of McAllen currently utilizes Capital Improvement Projects funding and Community Development Block Grants to fund these types of projects. If this funding structure continues, it could take the City 30 years to complete all of the drainage improvement projects identified in the Drainage Master Plan. By using bonds to finance these projects, McAllen would be able to fund the projects up-front and pay for them over time.
Should the bond propositions pass, the City plans to complete all of the projects within five years. After all phases of the process have been completed, construction will begin by 2019. Other phases include: advertising and receiving bids, selection; and engineering and design. If approved by the voters, the first debt would be issued in mid to late 2018.
The bonds will be paid back over a period of 30 years with money from ad valorem taxes levied.
If both measures totaling $25 million are approved by the voters, City of McAllen homeowners can expect a tax rate increase of about $2 dollars monthly, equal to approximately $24* per year, per household.
Yes, a previous General Obligation Bond approved by voters in 2013 included $13 million for a new performing arts center, a new baseball complex and road improvements. All of those bond funds have been used for their intended purposes.
THE ISSUANCE OF $22,000,000 OF BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTION DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS, TOGETHER WITH RELATED STREET AND SIDEWALK IMPROVMENTS, AND LEVYING THE TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF (LA EMISION DE BONOS POR $22,000,000 PARA EL PROPOSITO DE CONSTRUIR MEJORAS RELACIONADAS EN AVENIDAS Y ACERAS, Y LA RECAUDACION DE IMPUESTOS EN PAGO DE LOS MISMOS.
THE ISSUANCE OF $3,000,000 OF BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING, AND INSTALLING TRAFFIC AND STREET SIGNALIZATION EQUIPMENT AND IMPROVEMENTS, TOGETHER WITH RELATED STREET AND LIGHTING IMPROVEMENTS, AND LEVYING THE TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF (LA EMISION DE BONOS POR $3,000,000 PARA EL PROPOSITO DE ADQUIRIR, CONSTRUIR E INSTALAR EQUIPO Y MEJORAS DE SENALIZACION DE TRAFICO Y CALLES, JUNTO CON MEJORAS RELACIONADAS DE ALUMBRADO PUBLICO, Y LA RECAUDACION DE IMPUESTOS EN PAGO DE LOS MISMOS).
Early voting begins April 23 and continues through May 1 at the three locations and various times provided below.
For information on voter registration, absentee ballots, polling locations, or any other matters relating to elections, please contact the City of McAllen City Secretary’s Office at (956) 681-1020 or via email at email@example.com.