Aug 18, 2022 - News

Houston voters will decide on $478M bonds for city projects

Illustration of Houston City Hall with lines radiating from it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Houston voters will be able to cast ballots this November on a $478 million bond measure that would fund a host of capital improvement projects across the Bayou City.

Driving the news: Houston City Council on Wednesday voted to place the bond election on ballots this fall.

  • About $277 million of the proposed bond funds would go toward public safety infrastructure, including renovations at several fire and police stations.
  • Another big-ticket item: A new facility for Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC), which routinely runs over capacity with stray animals.

Why it matters: Mayor Sylvester Turner said the bonds are necessary to fully fund the city's current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a planning document that lists various infrastructure projects needed in the city over the next five years.

  • The bonds would also include money for maintenance on buildings not included in the CIP.

The intrigue: District G Council Member Mary Nan Huffman, who campaigned as a pro-public safety candidate, was the lone "no" vote.

  • A list of proposed bond projects shared with Axios shows none of them are in Huffman's district.
  • Huffman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Of note: Before council approved the measure Wednesday, District A Council Member Amy Peck proposed amending the bond to include an additional $10 million for renovations to Agnes Moffitt Park.

  • None of the original list of bond projects were slated for Peck's district.
  • Council members approved the amendment, which would help rejuvenate the ailing park in northwest Houston.

How it works: The November vote will be split into seven ballot propositions that residents can pick and choose to approve or reject.

  • Those include: $277 million for public safety, $60 million for parks, $47 million for the BARC facility, $33 million for public health, $29 million for general improvements, $26 million for libraries and $6 million for solid waste.
  • Turner estimated that it will cost the city between $1 million and $2 million to place the measure on the ballot.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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