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Citizen Committee Recommends New Road Bond to Lubbock City Council

Citizen Committee Recommends New Road Bond to Lubbock City Council

Citizen Committee Recommends New Road Bond to Lubbock City Council

Last year, Lubbock voters rejected a $174.5 million road bond for new construction and roadway repairs. Earlier this year, a citizens advisory committee was appointed by the Lubbock City Council to review Lubbock's transportation needs and deliver a recommendation. On Tuesday this week. that recommendation was finalized and is now in the hands of the City Council.

What's in the proposal?

A total of 17 projects are included in the new proposal. There is some overlap from last year's bond proposal as well as new projects that weren't on the ballot last time. Below are a list of projects that appeared in last year's bond proposal and are also included in the citizens advisory committee's recommendation.

  • Widening of 82nd Street from I-27 to MLK Jr. Blvd.
  • Widening of MLK Jr. Blvd. from 74th Street to 82nd Street
  • Widening of 114th Street from Indiana to University
  • Widening of 98th Street from Upland to Alcove
  • Widening of 114th Street from Slide to Frankford
  • Widening of Milwaukee from 4th Street to the city limits at CR 6430

Following the 2021 bond failure, the City Council moved ahead with rebuilding portions of 34th Street. Additional "back of curb" improvements for the same stretches are included in the citizens advisory committee's recommendations:
  • 34th Street from Avenue Q to I-27
  • 34th Street from Quaker to Slide

There are also several new projects in the citizens advisory committee's proposal that were not included in 2021's failed bond proposal:
  • Reconstruction of neighborhood streets in the Dunbar-Manhattan Heights neighborhood
  • Paving of unpaved streets in densely-populated residential areas in North and East Lubbock
  • Widening of 146th Street from Indiana to Quaker
  • Widening of four sections on Upland: 4th St. to19th St., 19th St. to 34th St., 34th St. to 50th St., and 50th St. to 66th St.
  • Widening of 66th Street from Upland to Alcove
  • Widening of 34th Street from Milwaukee to Upland

The new proposal also means there were projects included last year that didn't make the list this time. The Lubbock City Council decided to fund the three 34th Street rebuild projects from last year's bond proposal using cash. Other projects that weren't in the citizens advisory committee but were on the ballot for last year's road bond include the following:
  • Widening of Erskine from Avenue S to I-27
  • Widening of University from 98th Street to 114th Street
  • Rebuild of Broadway from University to Canyon Lakes Drive

The Broadway project was arguably the most controversial one included in last year's bond proposal. When the Lubbock business community was surveyed on the projects outlined in the previous proposal, support for Broadway was significantly lower than support for widening and 34th Street rebuild projects.

What's the cost?

The total price tag comes in at at $200 million dollars, an increase from last year's $174.5 million bond package. What will that amount to for the Lubbock taxpayer? From a KCBD report, City of Lubbock CFO Blu Kostelich said the anticipated 2 cent tax rate impact would amount to a $12 to $15 annual impact on the average homeowner over a five-year span. The City of Lubbock is currently assessing next year's budget, with sales tax revenue and new construction at all-time highs. The Council is considering a four-cent tax rate decrease, which combined with rising property appraisals, would amount to most Lubbockites paying more in taxes than in previous years.

The City of Lubbock has not passed a street bond since 2009, but has experienced tremendous growth recently.

What's next?

The Lubbock City Council has until August 15 to call for the bond to be placed on the November ballot, coinciding with the 2022 midterm elections. The Council will need to call two separate public meetings if they want to vote to approve of the committee's recommendations before the deadline. They could also choose to call the bond election for a different time, or reject the proposal entirely.

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