Allen City Council recently approved action for the sale of general obligation bonds totaling just over $10.8 million to fund roadway construction, park development, and improvements for existing facilities that were authorized by voters in the 2007 bond election.
Bond funding provides cities with the resources to fund permanent public improvements for projects that cannot be funded by the annual operating budget. The areas to be funded from this series range from facilities renovation to street improvements to parks expansion and public art to public safety improvements.
As existing City buildings age, replacement of mechanical systems or space renovation to accommodate staff expansion or accessibility is needed. $425,000 has been earmarked to include improvements or renovations of existing facilities such as City Hall, Municipal Court and Parks and Recreation Administrative Building, Fire Stations, and Police headquarters.
Streets and Drainage has been allocated approximately $3.2 million for roadway improvements and failing street and alley pavement replacement throughout the city. Some projects include the continued extension of Ridgeview Drive where connection gaps exist and the continued construction of Stacy Road. With the Stacy Road construction, bond funding will be for the City’s portion as part of a funding match that will include funding participation by other agencies as this roadway is significant to Collin County’s regional mobility plan.
Parks and Recreation will receive $5.1M from the sale of the bonds. A portion of that is for finalizing the design of the Watters Branch Community Park. It will also fund phase 1 of construction that has an anticipated start date sometime in 2015. In addition, bond funds will be used to purchase land for the expansion of the park system to ensure that land remains available for the ongoing development of parks and trails as the City completes build out.
In October 2005, Allen City Council adopted the Public Art Master Plan which set a goal to use approximately 2% of total bond sales towards enhancing public projects with artwork, sculpture and/or architectural treatments. The amount from this sale is $230,000. The Public Art Committee reviews submissions and advises Council on project recommendations as funding is available for new projects.
The Public Safety bond issuance of $1.9 million is for the first phase of Fire Station #2 reconstruction. The current station, built over 30 years ago, has outlived its effective usefulness. After detailed analysis and study, it was determined that a new station was needed as opposed to a major renovation of the existing facility. Design and construction of the new station at the same site will take approximately two years. The existing firefighters and equipment will respond from temporary housing during construction to maintain the responsiveness and service level for the area residents.
The funding for these projects will maintain Allen's infrastructure, enhance quality of life and address issues of the growing population.