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Lubbock community members give input on $174.5 million street bond

This is the first street bond election in more than a decade.
This is the first street bond election in more than a decade.(KCBD)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Since the start of early voting, 1,237 people have cast a ballot, deciding on amendments to the state constitution, a county property tax rate and a city street bond. The street bond would cost $174.5 million for improvements across the city, the first one since 2009. If the bond passes, 34th Street would be rebuilt from Avenue Q. to Avenue A., roads would be widened in growing parts of the city like on 114th Street, and more.

Proposed street projects in 2021 bond.
Proposed street projects in 2021 bond.(KCBD)

“It’s probably exactly the right project at exactly the wrong time, with the debt that the city has,” Former city councilman Paul R. Beane said.

Beane has placed signs around town encouraging people to vote against the street bond. He says it’s too expensive and citizens should have had the chance to vote on each individual project.

“Some are probably needed, some are probably not. When you start trying to please six members of the Lubbock City council, you’ve got a myriad of projects,” Beane said.

In the other lane, many Lubbock business community members give it the green light. The Chamber of Commerce, West Texas Home Builders Association, Lubbock Association of Realtors and Lubbock Apartment Association are encouraging people to vote for it.

“It’s been more than a decade since we’ve made an investment in the infrastructure for our growing city and the passage for this bond would enhance that. Just the commercial opportunities for local businesses, but also would enhance public safety and our quality of life,” Dave Marcinkowski, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce said.

Marcinkowski says the chamber surveyed nearly 700 people in the business community. According to their results, 91 percent support widening streets where growth has occurred, 72 percent support a rebuild of 34th Street, 70 percent support making the financial investment necessary to fund the projects and 61 support a rebuild of Broadway.

“The improvements represented in this bond will reach every part of town, from new development to established neighborhoods. The infrastructure improvements called for in this bond will affect every district in our city,” Lubbock Apartment Association president Mont McClendon said.

For Beane, some of those roadways shouldn’t make the cut.

“To spend over $40 million on Broadway, the sidewalks expanded, the bike lanes, I’m in downtown Lubbock a lot. I’ve never seen anybody on a bicycle. I don’t believe Lance Armstrong could ride a bicycle down Broadway on those brick streets,” Beane said.

The city projects the street bond would increase the property tax rate by two cents per hundred dollars valuation. For a homeowner with a $150,000 home, that comes out to about $8.38 each year for 5 years.

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