LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock residents voted against the city’s $174.5 million road bond Tuesday, with the bond falling short of passing by around 9 percent of the votes.
“I’m disappointed but the voters have spoken,” said District 3 Councilman Jeff Griffith. “We thought it was going to pass.”
The voter’s decision surprised city council, who unanimously voted to approve the bond earlier this year. Some on the council believe that the locations of the roads that would be repaired and Broadway – which would have gotten a total rebuild under the bond – were the main reasons voters choose not to pass it.
“The streets that were called out on the bond package were not were not wants. I believe, that our city has outgrown a lot of our infrastructure,” said District 4 Councilman, Steve Massengale.
The road bond would have funded 13 different road rebuilds or widening projects. It would have been funded through a two-cent property tax increase.
Now that the bond has failed, city council said there really isn’t a Plan B, and they won’t be able to put another bond to the voters to fund these same street projects for at least another three years.
“We’ll have to put our heads together. I mean, the need still exists,” said Massengale.
However, city council said by pushing back this project, the need will only increase along with the price tag.
“The timing, I thought, was excellent because we are at historically low interest rates. Thus, the ability to do these projects sooner rather than later saves taxpayer money. That’s the real bottom line. When they get done, we’re unsure how they get done, we’re unsure time-table wise, but the main deal is for sure the taxpayer loses,” said Griffith.
In the budget right now, the city does have around $11 million cash to spend on street repairs, but city council said that won’t address the more major infrastructure issues that the bond could have.
“We’ll manage the best we can with the funding that is in place today and I’m not sure when it will get done to be honest,” said Griffith.
While those 13 projects are on hold for now, the city said they’ll still do what they can to maintain Lubbock roadways.