Early voting begins Monday, here are the proposed amendments - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Early voting begins Monday, here is a glance at the proposed amendments

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -NewsChannel 11 wants you to be an informed voter in the upcoming City of Lubbock Bond Election and the Texas Constitutional Amendment election on November 3rd.

The bond propositions are focused on the improvement of public safety for Lubbock citizens and reconstructing streets where traffic demands continue to grow.

The bond propositions also address the need for a safe and economical recreation facility for the children of Lubbock with completion of a 90-acre, 53-field soccer complex in Southwest Lubbock that will bring new opportunities for growth in tourism.

These specific bond propositions are on the ballot as a result of recommendations made by a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) appointed by the Lubbock City Council in February of 2009. The CAC was put in place to recommend projects in specific operational areas including streets and parks.

The total cost of the recommendations was not to exceed $65 million. The recommended budget for all four projects on the November 3 ballot is $60.8 million with 83 percent going to the improvement of Lubbock streets and traffic system and increasing public safety.

Early voting begins Monday, October 19.

LUBBOCK CITY BOND ELECTION

  • Proposition No. 1: Issuance of $43,085,000 obligation bonds for street improvements.

The proposal for street improvements includes $20.8 million for improvements to 34th Street between Indiana and Avenue Q. Also included are $4.75 million for traffic signal upgrades and $17.61 million for street improvements in southwest Lubbock (paving a 10 block radius around Milwaukee & 98th, improving Quaker from 98th to 114th, improving 114th from University to Slide).

Arguments For:

34th Street is 50 years old and needs to be reconstructed.

Street improvements are needed to meet continued growth, development and traffic demands in southwest Lubbock.

Arguments Against:

Improving streets in southwest Lubbock encourages commercial and residential development on the outskirts of the city at the expense of the central city which also needs street improvements and development.

All Lubbock property owners will be taxed for these improvements but those in southwest Lubbock will receive the greatest benefit.

  • Proposition No. 2: Issuance of $7,500,000 obligation bonds for firefighting facilities and equipment.

The second proposition involves $7.75 million to build new fire stations, $2.5 million each for new stations at 114th & Quaker Avenue, 66th & Oakridge Avenue, and 104th & Milwaukee Avenue. If the stations are built, additional revenue will be required to operate the stations, an estimated $1.35 million for equipment (a one-time cost) and $3.9 million annually for staffing and operating expenses.

Arguments For:

New fire stations will increase safety for those who live in the areas that would be served by the 3 new stations.

Premiums for building insurance would decrease for those in the areas served by each new facility.

Arguments Against:

All property owners would be taxed to pay for these fire stations but those near the stations would receive the primary benefits.

An additional $3.95 million will be required annually to operate the 3 stations plus a one-time expense of $1.35 million for capital equipment.

  • Proposition No. 3: Issuance of $1,200,000 obligation bonds for water recreation facilities.

The $1.2 million is proposed for splash pads at 4 parks: Woods Park (Zenith & Erskine), Berry Park (36th & Cedar), Buddy Holly Park (N. University & Cesar E. Chavez Dr.) and McAllister Park (Milwaukee & Marsha Sharp Freeway). Splash pads would have hands-on water play equipment including a variety of valves and sprays on a safety surface; water would be treated and recycled.

Argument For:

Splash pads would encourage physical activity at facilities which are cheaper to build and maintain than swimming pools and would not require admission.

Argument Against:

Pressing needs for maintenance at Mahon Library, swimming pools, and recreation facilities should be taken care of before building new facilities.

  • Proposition No. 4: Issuance of $9,000,000 obligation bonds for soccer facilities.

The $9 million for soccer facilities is proposed to fund the second phase of development at the Youth Sports Complex at Milwaukee & FM 1585. When all phases are completed, there will be 53 soccer fields, associated restrooms, concessions and parking. Costs of operating these facilities once built are estimated to be about $250,000 per year.

Arguments For:

Developing the Youth Sports Complex would expand opportunities for physical activities for youth in south Lubbock.

The facility would contribute to community appearance and property values in south Lubbock.

Arguments Against:

All property owners would be taxed for these improvements and annual operating expenses but those in south Lubbock would receive most benefit.

Investing in an area not accessible to all the community is inequitable. Recreational facilities should be built throughout the city.

Information provided by League of Women Voters of Lubbock County.

For more information on the League of Women Voters and the Bond proposals, click here. (This is a .pdf file)

 

TEXAS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ELECTION 

Eleven proposed constitutional amendments go before Texas voters in the Nov. 3 election. The proposals passed both chambers of the Legislature with a two-thirds vote and must win voter approval to be added to the state constitution. Early voting begins Monday.

The propositions are:

  • PROPOSITION 1: Authorizes financing methods for municipalities and counties to acquire buffer zones or open spaces next to military bases. The proposal could prevent encroachment next to the base and allow construction of roads, utilities and other infrastructure to promote the mission of a military base.
  • PROPOSITION 2: Allows the Legislature to provide for ad valorem taxation of a residence homestead solely on the basis of the property's value as a residence, not at the potentially higher commercial use value.
  • PROPOSITION 3: Provides for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for taxation. Texas lacks uniform standards, and proponents say this amendment would ensure that property in diverse parts of the state are valued using the same generally accepted practices.
  • PROPOSITION 4: Establishes a national research university fund to help emerging research universities achieve national prominence as major research universities. Those pushing the proposal say it will provide funding similar to what elevated Texas A&M University and the University of Texas to Tier One status, providing jobs and stature or the state. Others question whether now is the time to spend such money.
  • PROPOSITION 5: Permits the Texas Legislature to allow a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities. That means area appraisal boards can be consolidated if they choose.
  • PROPOSITION 6: Authorizes the Veterans' Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized. It would prevent the land board from continually having to seek legislative authorization.
  • PROPOSITION 7: Allows an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices. This would correct what some say is an oversight in the state constitution.
  • PROPOSITION 8: Authorizes the state to contribute money, property and other resources to establish veterans hospital. It's designed to speed up efforts to open a federal Veterans Administration hospital in the Rio Grande Valley, where residents currently must travel to San Antonio to receive some VA hospital services.
  • PROPOSITION 9: Protects the right of the public to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico. This would block private developers from restricting beach access to the public, but some say it could infringe on private property rights.
  • PROPOSITION 10: Limits elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts to terms no longer than four years.
  • PROPOSITION 11: Prohibits governments from taking private property for private economic development to increase a tax base. It also limits the Legislature's power to grant eminent domain authority to a governmental entity.

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