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Nearly half a billion dollars in bonds are on the ballot in McKinney this election

Shops and restaurants line the Historic Downtown McKinney square.
Yfat Yossifor
/
KERA
The city of McKinney, which has grown by about 20,000 residents in the past five years, is floating nearly $500 million in bonds to pay for things like street maintenance, park improvements and public safety measures.

The City of McKinney is asking voters in Saturday’s municipal election to decide on nearly half a billion dollars in bonds for parks, streets, public works and safety improvements.

The $485.5 million bond package is split into five propositions on the ballot. The most expensive is Prop E, which would provide $243.5 million for street improvements. The money would be combined with other funding sources, including federal and state grants, to pay for new roadways, reconstruct aging residential streets and expand roadway capacity.

"These bonds are truly for necessities of the city and aren’t luxury items, unless you consider Parks and Recreation as a luxury item,” Mayor George Fuller said.

Another proposition would put $30 million toward improving and expanding a public works facility. Fuller said he hopes voters will approve the bonds to fund these infrastructure projects as the city deals with the population growth McKinney has seen in the past five years. The city has added nearly 20,000 residents over the past five years, according to a city memo.

“Growth is going to happen whether we want it,” Fuller said.

Last year, voters overwhelmingly rejected a $200 million bond proposition to expand the city-owned airport. Fuller said that proposition failed because of misunderstandings and “misinformation” surrounding it — but he is confident this year’s bond package will pass.

“I think people understand police and fire and parks and roads and public works,” he said. “So these are.. . what I would call ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of stuff for a city.”

He said some propositions are especially critical.

“Can we survive not doing the improvements to public works right now? We could survive that,” Fuller said. “Can we survive without the public safety needs that we have? No. We can't.”

Fuller said a city doesn’t generally have nearly half a billion laying around – which is why they turn to bonds.

“If you're a McKinney resident, you and I shouldn't be saddled with the debt for roads that are, you know, people in 2030 are going to be driving,” he said.

If the bonds fail, Fuller said the city would have to look at raising taxes. The max increase in property tax that a municipal government can do is 10 percent, according to Collin Central Appraisal District.

Election day is May 4.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at jsalinas@kera.org. You can follow Juan on X @4nsmiley

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Juan Salinas II is currently studying journalism at UT-Arlington. He is a transfer student from TCC, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Collegian, and his reporting has also appeared in Central Track, D Magazine, The Shorthorn and other Texas news outlets.