Posted By cdoelle on February 25, 2014
In a split vote Thursday evening, the Wimberley City Council approved a May special bond election to raise $2.85 million for street and bridge improvements and for a citywide drainage study. This is the city’s first bond question, and if approved will result in the city’s first property tax.
According to City Manager Don Ferguson and several members of the council, Wimberley’s streets and roads are deteriorating faster than the city can pay for improvements. There are some streets in town that are in danger of washing away completely in the next heavy rain, and there are bridges that must be repaired. The city engineer and the Transportation Advisory Board have estimated that the tab for the needed improvements to all of the city’s 81 streets and those bridges that need work would be in the vicinity of $2.75 million–an amount for which adequate funding does not exist in city $1 million dollar general fund budget.
The street improvements and drainage study would be funded with general obligation bonds. A property tax will be required to fund the debt service on the bonds. The projected property tax rate required to pay the debt service on the bonds is 4.25 cents per $100 value of the property.
Included in the bond issue is $100,000 for a citywide drainage study. The October 31, 2013, flood brought drainage problems to the fore with streets and houses getting flooded from directions other than those normally expected.
The council voted 3-2 in favor of holding the single-proposition bond vote in May with Place 3 Councilman Matt Meeks and Place 4 Councilman Steve Thurber voting against.
The council earlier had discussed holding a two-proposition election by including $7.5 million for the Central Wimberley wastewater system and for extending wastewater service to residents north of Cypress Creek along Mill Race Lane and River Road. After discussion, the wastewater proposition did not make it to the motion for the May election.
In a second vote, the council voted 4-1 to cap the maturity of the bonds at no more than 20 years with Thurber voting against. The annual debt servicing cost for a $2.85 million bond extended over 20 years will be about $192,000 per year.
The special bond election will be on the same ballot as the city’s council election on May 10.
The city plan an extensive public information program to educate citizens on the bond issues. For more information and to view the special election ordinance visit www.cityofwimberley.com.