Despite Mayor Bill Benton’s requests, the city of Rosenberg will not hold a bond election to pay for the Seabourne Creek Nature Center.
At Tuesday night’s regular Rosenberg City Council meeting, this item, which was brought to council by the mayor in December, was put to rest.
Benton suggested council hold a May 2021 bond election to provide funding for the Seabourne Creek Park Nature Center design and construction and a splash pad.
“I requested this for y’all’s benefit,” Benton began Tuesday. “This is one last opportunity (to vote for a bond election) and I promise you I will not bring it up again.
“If you have a bond election and they’re voted yes by the people, it doesn’t mean you have to take that option and (use the bond monies).”
However, council disagreed with the mayor.
“No bond, Mayor,” council member Kevin Raines said. “I’m just not in favor of encouraging more (debt). We can start a savings program and do it the right way.”
Council member Marc Morales concurred.
“We could do (the projects) responsibly and I have all the faith we can do it without a bond election.”
The first step in building a nature center at Seabourne Creek Nature Park includes paying for a $385,000 engineering study.
In January, council members voted in favor to fund the engineering plan of the nature center project through the parkland dedication fund.
Maintenance and operations costs of $125,000 per year would be expended from the city’s general fund, The nature center project would total $3 million upon completion.
The nature center would include an interactive educational space, office space, a pavilion, deep porches, a classroom, integrated solar roof panels and native plant life.
The splash pad, to be located at Travis Park, would cost $575,000.
Council had until Feb. 12 to decide whether to hold the bond election in May.
“This was brought up just to see if y’all wish to exercise your options,” Benton said. “You have declined to exercise your options. I will not be part of the (2022 budget) process, but I wish you all the best as you get into the budget process.”