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Proposed city bond package largest in a decade

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 23:33:05-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If the Corpus Christi City Council gives the go ahead for Bond 2020 to be added to the ballot for the November general elections, voters would decide whether the city should be able to sell $115 million worth of bonds to conduct dozens of improvement projects to streets, parks, and public-safety facilities.

It's the biggest bond proposal in a decade, and city leaders said it can be done without raising property taxes.

“It’s going to make the ballot," said Director of Engineering Services Jeff Edmonds. "The bond programs have historically done very well, so I would expect it to pass."

Edmonds presented Bond 2020 to the council at its regular meeting Tuesday.

“There was $72 million on streets, and that always remains a council priority," he said.

The funds for street projects are roughly divided evenly among the city's five districts. There are 26 proposed street projects in all.

Bond 2020 also includes $23 million for parks projects, including a new aquatic center on the city's booming south side. A facility with indoor and outdoor pools would be built at Bill Witt Park for $7.5 million.

That proposal was one of the few the council dove into more deeply.

“I think one of the questions we want to ask about that is, 'What are the operating costs once (the aquatic center) is up (and running)?" Mayor Joe McComb said. "It gets pretty expensive to operate something like that."

The city council is set to determine whether that project, or any of the 50 others within Bond 2020, make the final proposed bond package at its next meeting July 28.

At its Aug. 11 meeting, council members will decide whether to put Bond 2020 on the November ballot to let voters determine its fate.

"You know, it’s not a slam dunk," McComb said. "But voters have always wanted to improve the quality of life in this city. They’ve been very generous on bond issues in the past, and we’re hitting things that we get complaints about.”

On the topic of public safety, Bond 2020 contains $20 million for two projects for first responders. Another $7.5 million would be spent replacing the 66-year-old Fire Station No. 3, the busiest in the city. The Corpus Christi Police Department also would receive a new training academy, to the tune of $12.5 million.