The Community Improvements Program Task Force recommended two bond initiatives which would increase the tax rate by a total of 8.37 cents per $100 of valuation, or $125.55 per year…
First Reading will be the city council meeting on Feb. 7
The San Marcos City Council, acting on the recommendations from the Community Improvement Program Task Force, gave direction to City staff to move forward with the necessary steps to call a bond election on May 6 for public safety and library improvements.
The first reading of the ballot language will be voted on during the Feb. 7 City Council meeting at the City Council Chambers, 630 E. Hopkins. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. The second reading is tentatively set for Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
The Community Improvements Program Task Force recommended two bond initiatives which would increase the tax rate by a total of 8.37 cents per $100 of valuation, or $125.55 per year for a $150,000 home (the approximate average home value in San Marcos) if both initiatives were to pass. The initiatives are broken down as follows:
- Public Safety: Recommended tax rate increase of 5.3 cents per $100 of valuation
Police Department renovations (Capital costs $5.5 million): These renovations will make improvements to the existing 911 center, add security and perimeter fencing, make parking lot improvements, replace existing HVAC equipment, and create new offices and functional improvements to the police station.
Holland Fire Station #2 relocation (Capital costs $5.2 million): This project will relocate Fire Station #2 to a more efficient and effective site and replaces the substandard structure that the station has occupied for 63 years since its opening in 1954.
Highpointe Fire Station #8 construction (Capital costs $4.5 million, ongoing operating costs $1.4 million): This contractually obligated fire station is being funded in part by the developer of the Highpointe community and will be located on the east side of IH-35, a section of the city that has needed additional fire resources for almost a decade. The project includes the purchase of a fire truck for the station and includes $1.4 million for personnel and station operating costs.
Fire Training Field (Capital costs $2 million, ongoing operating costs $50,000): This facility will allow San Marcos Firefighters to conduct training including but not limited to residential and high rise live fire training, rope and trench rescue, confined space rescue, vehicle extrication, and fire, police, and EMS integrated response training. This type of training is not currently conducted because the nearest facility is in Buda and would take firefighters out of the City and unable to respond if needed.
- San Marcos Library Expansion: Recommended tax rate increase of 3.07 cents per $100 of valuation
The Library Expansion (Capital cost $14.5 million, ongoing operating costs $500,000) This project will expand the existing library by 29,000 square feet and renovate the existing facility, which was built in 1994 and served 373,334 people in the 2016 fiscal year.
The Task Force also recommended a Public Services Maintenance facility along with a new City Hall to be constructed, paid for by issuing certificates of obligation and are not part of the proposed bond election. The current facilities are severely undersized and inadequate for a City this size. These facilities are 35 to 40 years old.
The San Marcos City Council created the Community Improvements Program Task Force in October 2016. The committee was made up of 30 members, four of which were non-voting, ex-officio members.
The first meeting was held on Oct. 20, 2016, and the last meeting was held on January 5, 2017. In that time period, the committee has held seven official meetings along with two nights of facility tours with the committee members for a total of approximately 20 hours’ worth of education.