Despite the economic strains on taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fort Bend County commissioners unanimously approved two bond elections for the Nov. 3 ballot to address county roads and parks.
In a special meeting in August, commissioners voted for a mobility bond proposal worth $218.2 million for to build and fix roads in several cities in the county, including Richmond, Rosenberg, Needville and Fulshear.
Another bond is worth $38.4 million for renovating, equipping and acquiring land and buildings for the parks and recreation department.
This comes two weeks after Lamar Consolidated ISD passed a proposal to call for its own election for bonds worth over $792 million to be put on the November ballot.
Fort Bend County commissioners have wanted to put a mobility bond up for election since last year, claiming that there are several roads in the county that are in desperate need for repair.
But as commissioners saw their 2019 bond proposal blow up to over $256 million, commissioners decided to scale back that bond package to only $83 million to solely deal with flood mitigation issues in the county. That bond passed with 69% approval from county voters last November.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales and Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers both agreed in 2019 that a mobility bond should be on the ballot in 2020. But that was before COVID-19 came and disrupted everything.
With the county mired in the coronavirus pandemic with a multi-million-dollar deficit and taxpayers suffering whiplash from rising property taxes, it might be a tough sell by the county to ask for over $256 million in bond money from taxpayers suffering from job losses and economic uncertainty.
Here’s how the bond issues will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot:
FORT BEND COUNTY PROPOSITION A
THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $218,185,000 FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF COUNTY ROADS, INCLUDING ROADS WITHIN THE CITIES OF KENDLETON, ROSENBERG, FAIRCHILDS, NEEDVILLE, RICHMOND, STAFFORD, MISSOURI CITY, MEADOWS PLACE, FULSHEAR AND SUGAR LAND, AND THE IMPOSITION OF TAXES SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE BONDS.
FORT BEND COUNTY PROPOSITION B
THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $38,400,000 FOR COUNTY PARK FACILITIES AND THE IMPOSITION OF TAXES SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE BONDS.