Bond Task Force

http://www.lakejackson-tx.gov/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=3998
 

Executive Summary

The Lake Jackson Citizen Bond Task Force has completed its recommendation for a General Obligation Bond Program for consideration by the City Council, for a bond election tentatively planned for May 2020. 

The recommendations are based on the City’s commitment to maintain existing facilities and infrastructure.  In July 2019, the Lake Jackson City Council appointed a forty (40) member Bond Task Force with the following charge:

  • Review capital improvement projects for a future General Obligation bond election 
  • Prioritize and group projects for bond proposals
  • Review financial feasibility of bond proposals
  • Provide opportunities for citizen input
  • Submit Recommendation to City Council






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Over a period of five months, the Task Force reviewed and evaluated 98 possible bond projects with an estimated total cost of over $172 million.  The Task Force is pleased to provide City Council with a recommendation of a $29.435 million bond package that includes street and drainage improvements and a major investment in city facilities.

If all recommended projects are approved by the voters, a maximum property tax increase of approximately 4 cents would be needed once all bonds are sold.  The average home in Lake Jackson, valued at $200,000, could see a tax increase of $80 per year in 2025.

 

Letter to City Council

Honorable Mayor and City Council –

The members of the Citizen Bond Task Force want to thank you for allowing us to serve our City and for the trust you placed in us to examine our city’s infrastructure needs.

The Task Force began meeting on July 22, 2019 and met every second and fourth Monday of each month thereafter.  We reviewed our city finances and debt history and future debt capacity.  We are grateful to Pam Eaves for her help throughout this process.

City staff reviewed the city’s infrastructure, recreation and facility needs as identified in the city’s Capital Investment Plan.  We then were assigned “homework” to prioritize streets, drainage, sidewalks, recreation and facility projects.  We are grateful to the City Engineer’s office for their technical expertise and to the Public Works, Parks and Recreation, their time and support.  

We are especially thankful to Chief Kibodeaux and Assistant Chief Anderson for their field research.

The Task Force took all the information and thoroughly discussed the city’s capital needs and finances if there should be a recommendation that a bond proposal be brought to the voters.  It was of main importance that any recommendations for a bond package have a minimum impact on the tax rate.

We developed a preliminary bond proposal and obtained feedback through a public forum held on October 17th.  The feedback from the community guided us in our recommendation to you.

Expansion of facilities, street repair and drainage were major items of discussion as well as the parks and recreation improvements.  The Task Force made the difficult decision to not include repairs to the Dunbar Park restrooms ($650k) and repairs to the Recreation Center ($350k), since both projects can be funded with half-cent funds.  Task Force members agreed that the City should reinvest and expand its facilities to meet current and long-term needs; continue its efforts to replace streets in the oldest parts of the city; and begin implementing drainage improvements as identified in the East Side Drainage Study.    

We propose that the bonds be sold in at least three phases of less than $10 million each in order to keep the rate increase less than 4 cents once all bond issues are sold.

We thank our fellow members of the Citizen Bond Task Force for being well prepared and ready to participate at each meeting.    We are proud to be part of a strong, dedicated group of volunteers that care for the City of Lake Jackson and its future.

                                                                                                                                Respectfully Submitted,

                                                                                                                     The Citizen Bond Task Force

About the Task Force