Take a first look at proposed bond projects - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/7/09

Take a first look at proposed bond projects

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - NewsChannel 11 has a first look at the projects Lubbock voters could choose from in a November bond election. Council created a citizens advisory committee to study the issue back in February. They held a string of public meetings in May and cut proposals down to three main categories of streets, parks, and public safety. On Wednesday, they'll present that list to council.

One of the proposed projects is rebuilding a two mile stretch of 34th Street from Avenue Q to Indiana Avenue.  Street and traffic projects like that take up a majority of the proposal. "34th Street, as far as the pavement goes, was in pretty bad shape. That road was worn out years ago," Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin said. 

Members of the Citizens Advisory Committee seem to agree. They've proposed almost $61-million worth of projects, and about three quarters of that money would go toward streets and traffic. The proposal not only includes re-building a portion of 34th Street, it also suggests widening Quaker Avenue to 114th Street, and strip paving 114th Street from University Avenue to Slide Road.

The Committee also proposes paving and widening Milwaukee Avenue to from 94th Street to 104th Street, then strip paving the rest to 114th Street. 98th Street would also be paved from Juneau Avenue to Milwaukee Avenue.

The committee says pavement will improve access to the Lubbock Youth Sports Complex on Farm to Market Road 1585 where they suggest spending $9-million to build a 90-acre soccer complex. Other park improvements include $1.2-million for mini-water parks, inside Berry Park, the Buddy Holly Recreation Area, McAlister Park, and Woods Park.

Public safety improvements call for three new fire stations to service southwest Lubbock at a cost of $7.5-million. Here's how all the projects break down:

 - Street & Traffic: $43,085,000
 - Public Safety: $7,500,000
 - Parks: $10,200,000
 - Total: $60,785,000

You can see the committee did not allot the entire $65-million approved by council. They say that's so members can supplement, but not substitute, their recommendations. "Over all, I think it's a good package. I think the council will be very receptive to it, and I expect that the council will put it on the ballot for voters to make the decision in November," Martin said. 

Another project calls for a system wide traffic signal upgrade. The committee suggests separate ballot propositions for streets, fire, parks and soccer fields. They also suggest an accountability committee to report to citizens until approved projects is completed.  If all projects are approved, property taxes would increase $0.5 per $100 valuation.

NewsChannel 11 will have a crew at Wednesday's meeting, and we'll let you know what happens. 

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