in Houston, Texas
As city of Austin asks voters to back bond vote, projects totaling $356 million from bond votes back to 1998 yet to be finished
Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012, 09:53AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
austin

Remember the excitement back in 2000 when you helped pass that municipal bond issue to finally widen Davis, Deer, Howard, Rundberg and Todd lanes here in Austin?

If you don’t, you probably don’t live on or near those streets. The work was never done.

All taxpayers got was a bill for the debt on the $42 million portion of the bonds you signed off on.

In all, Austin has yet to begin work on $356 million, or almost a third of the $1.2 billion in projects approved by taxpayers in four bond issues in 1998, 2000, 2006, and 2010, the Austin American Statesman reports today.

The Austin City Council is requesting your approval in November of another $385 million bond issue for a whole lot of new projects like a new fire station, arts center and library renovation and new low income housing.

Many of which will someday be completed.

The city provided the Statesman with explanation for many of the delays and provided assurances that the old projects would eventually be completed. Like the $86 million approved in 2006 for a new central library, the construction of which is just a year out.

The widening of Davis and Deer lanes has been tied up with environmental studies. The city has been waiting on Travis County to build Howard Lane and had trouble buying land for Rundberg and Todd lanes.

The city cobbled together enough staff to finally make $4.5 million in improvements worth doing to Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park. And to build that hike-and-bike trail along Walnut Creek you were so hepped up about.

In 1998.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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