Lubbock organizations join PAC to voice support for $200M road bond proposal

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 1:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Six Lubbock organizations and associations announced their support Thursday for the $200 million road bond proposal that will be on the ballot during this November’s election.

The Paving Lubbock’s Future Political Action Committee hosted the The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, West Texas Home Builders Association, Lubbock Association of Realtors, and Lubbock Apartment Association, Lubbock Professional Police Association and Lubbock Professional Firefighters Association for a news conference to share their arguments for Proposition A.

“We’re no longer the city where people say it takes seven minutes to get somewhere,” Casey Doyle, Chair of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, said. “That’s the thing of the past. We’re now a city that takes 15 to 20 minutes. It’s because of a couple things: because of growth and because of traffic. Now, this proposition is going to help with a lot of these things and there’s three things that really stand out to me. These three things are safety, convenience, and opportunity.”

The $200 million bond would fund 17 projects proposed by a citizens advisory committee to the Lubbock City Council, which approved the ballot measure in August.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: City council approves $200M street bond for Lubbock residents

“We’ve got to get ahead of the game,” Doyle said. “This is a proposition that’s going to benefit our citizens, our businesses, our neighborhoods, our children’s safety. There’s just no denying.”

Doyle said the bond package is necessary to address unpaved roads and widen others that are near schools.

“This is going to help relieve a lot of that pressure,” Doyle said. “Right now we have three schools that are being impacted and several other ones. This proposition is going to have a huge impact on our teachers, on our parents, on the kids. It’s going to be a big deal.”

The unpaved roads are in Districts 1 and 2. Joseph Wallace with the Lubbock Professional Firefighters Association said those roads impact their response.

“It beats our equipment to death, as well as the people riding that equipment,” Wallace said. “It slows our response. As you can tell, it’s paramount that this gets addressed.”

The other projects included in the bond package rebuild roadways in the Dunbar/Manhattan Heights neighborhood and widen or improve arterial streets like 98th, Milwaukee, 114th, 66th and Upland. The list also includes curb work on 34th Street.

“If you live in the core of Lubbock, you know that the arterials are already built,” Heather Keister, Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee said. “The need in central Lubbock really is for maintenance to take care of what we’ve got, essentially. I think really what it gets to is the diverse needs of the different parts of our community. The arterials that are needed are not in central Lubbock. They’re out on the outskirts of the city. One of our recommendations as a committee was for the Council to continue and increase cash appropriations for street maintenance, which is where we felt that money was better served. We didn’t feel that a bond was appropriate to debt fund street maintenance.”

The City of Lubbock estimates this proposal will cost the average homeowner in Lubbock $16 a year for five years, which would cover both the principle and interest at a total of $318 million.

“They wrote the bond language with those assurances built in that none of this money can be spent on any other project until that entire list of projects is complete,” Keister said. “On top of that, if there is money remaining once the projects are complete, then it has to go back to City Council for approval of a like-project, so that can happen in the public forum so that people would know what would be happening with any remaining money.”

Keister believes there also won’t be an issue with not having enough money to complete the projects.

“The cost of the projects that you see in the list are conservative,” Keister said. “Additionally, the city and their financial advisor assumed a lower, much lower than what we’ve experienced, growth rate in the city of Lubbock. They also assumed higher interest rates. There are the three levels of conservatism that were all put in there with that in mind to make sure that we can accomplish the entire list.”

Doyle said, with the last road bond in Lubbock 13 years ago, Lubbock is behind the growth it’s experienced and failure this election would make the situation worse.

“We’re unable to use those or put these roads back onto a bond for three more years,” Doyle said. “Traditionally, 13 years is already too long. If you do the math, you can just see how far we’re back and if we don’t get it done on this election, then it’s just going to put us that much further behind.”

Early voting beings October 24. Election Day is November 8. Find Lubbock County voting information here.

Click here for 2022 Street Bond Election information from the City of Lubbock.

Find more information here from the Paving Lubbock’s Future PAC.