Special to the PRESS
Next week, early voting begins and Port Isabel residents will receive a ballot for the city’s bond election, which contains three separate propositions. I want to take a moment to share some information with your readers regarding some of the proposed projects, and why the city has decided to take this route.
As we all know, the city’s infrastructure needs repair, and as our population grows, we also need to invest in improvements that will attract business and improve quality of life. Years of maintenance backlogs, and the city’s tight budgetary constraints put many needed projects out of reach. In order to begin addressing these needed projects, the city established a capital projects committee.
The committee spent several months reviewing proposed projects and funding sources, and developed a list of priorities, which were adopted by the City Commission. As part of its report, the committee concluded that a bond issue was necessary to fund the proposed improvements, which include the reconstruction of Maxan Street, Island Avenue and South Shore, along with numerous other streets throughout town, and upgrades to our medians and rights of way to beautify the city. The recommendations also include park and recreational facility improvements, which will add needed indoor and outdoor spaces for recreation. Finally, the committee included projects to upgrade vital facilities such as the fire station, police station and EMS, which need repair.
As part of these recommendations, the committee also recommended that any tax necessary to fund debt service for these projects be limited to 7 cents per $100 valuation. On a $100,000 home, this equals $70. The funds raised through the issue are restricted by law to use only for the stated purposes, and the tax revenue collected can only be used to pay the debt service on the bonds. As the bonds are paid off, the tax rate will decline.
Renewing the city’s infrastructure and making needed improvements to promote growth and quality of life are important to the city’s progress. The proposed bond issue is the most feasible, fiscally-responsible way to achieve these goals. More extensive information about this bond election is available on our website at www.portisabel-texas.com/cityhall.
Port Isabel City Manager
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