LAKE JACKSON — The Citizen Bond Task Force recommended calling for a $29.4 million bond to fund facility, street and drainage improvements.
City Council has until February to decide how much of that recommendation they’ll accept to place on the ballot, but profusely thanked task force members for their hard work and presentation.
The 40-person task force began meeting twice a month in July and had great attendance, exemplified by their en masse turnout at Monday night’s council meeting, former mayor and task force spokesman Jim Martin said.
The group reviewed $172 million worth of capital improvement projects and narrowed the list to $29.4 million worth of projects to recommend, Martin said. Those are split almost evenly between facilities, which would receive $15 million, and $14 million toward streets and drainage, according to the presentation.
If this bond is presented to voters and passes, it could raise Lake Jackson’s tax rate by about 4 cents, bringing it to 39 cents per $100 of property value, according to the bond packet.
The highest-ticket items are $11.5 million of drainage improvements on Moss, Chestnut and Wisteria streets and Palm Lane, a $9 million city hall expansion and a $3.5 million animal control facility.
The current Lake Jackson City Hall has been in place since 1978 and expanded to its current size in 1988, according to the bond packet. The $9 million project follows a design recommendation by PGAL Architects that would remodel 15,000 square feet of city hall and add 17,000 feet through an expansion and second story addition.
This would allow new council chambers and larger workspaces for finance, public works, permits, IT and administration, the packet states.
“We’re not going to get any smaller and the number of employees is not going to get any less,” Martin said.
The police department is proposed to get a $2.3 million expansion that would accommodate more evidence storage, he said. This would keep items for legal cases indoors rather than outside covered by tarps, he said.
The $3.5 million animal control facility would serve its purpose when the animal control contract with regional partners expires in 2023, the packet states. The money could either construct a new facility, renovate the existing facility or participate in a multi-jurisdictional facility, according to the documents.
Another $300,000 would go to replacing the flooring at the Lake Jackson branch of Brazoria County Library System.
“It could be done some other way, but we think it’s something that needs to be done,” Martin said. “(To) have the library be presentable to the number of citizens who go through there on a daily and weekly basis, and we go vote there.”
The project ranked No. 11 in the last bond issue that picked 10 projects was $2.45 million of street and drainage improvements for Pin Oak, Pin Oak Court, North Shady Oaks and Forest Oak Lane, Martin said.
“This is also way overdue,” he said.
Some task force members and residents who came to the public bond forum made it very clear this project is important to them, Martin said. The project would reconstruct 4,000 linear feet of streets, sidewalks, drainage, water and sewer lines.
The $11.5 million in proposed improvements to Moss, Chestnut, Wisteria and Palm Lane would replace streets, sidewalks, water, sewer and trunk lines and upsize some storm sewers.
Replacing 87 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps in the city would take $185,000 of the bond, the packet states. That is the number of concrete ramps that are damaged, according to the documents.
Councilman Buster Buell and other council members thanked the task force for its hard work.
“Everything in here is rock solid,” Buell said.
The bond recommendation will appear as an agenda item at every council meeting until council votes on what to place on the ballot in February, City Manager Bill Yenne said.