The Galveston Economic Development Partnership is supporting the city’s $62 million bond proposition, partnership President Jeff Sjostrom said Thursday.
The partnership’s executive committee last week voted unanimously on a resolution in favor of the tax-supported bond, which would go to street and drainage improvements in the city.
The Galveston Economic Development Partnership, which has more than 100 members, supports the bond because the group trusts the leadership in the city to “put its money where its mouth is,” Sjostrom said.
“A lot of it has to do with confidence,” Sjostrom said. “Our board in general is looking at the present moment, looking at the leadership in place. We felt now was a good time.”
The bond sale would, in part, be paid off by a 3.5 cent increase in the property tax rate. A Galveston property owner who owns a $215,000 home — the median value on the island — would see a $60 a year increase in property taxes, according to city estimates.
The bond proposition is also a good deal financially, Sjostrom said. If the bond doesn’t pass, city officials have said they would complete the city’s street and drainage capital improvement plan with a pay-as-you-go method, and construction would be complete in 15 to 20 years. A bond sale would put construction within a five-year time frame, officials said.
Completing the projects within five years would be less expensive because of construction cost inflation, city officials have said.
Some of the proposed plans include the complete reconstruction of 45th Street; a drainage project on 18th Street, from the Ship Channel to Avenue K; and the repaving of 25th Street from Broadway to Seawall Boulevard.
These improvements could have the effect of improving business on the island, Sjostrom said.
“We’re always concerned about the cost of doing business on the island,” Sjostrom said. “Part of Galveston being a tourism destination as it is, the better our streets, the better the drainage, the better the experience people come to Galveston to enjoy.”
The bond issue faces organized opposition from the Galveston County Apartment Association and from some owners of multiple island properties.
Election Day is May 6. Early voting will take place from April 24 to April 28, and from May 1 to May 2.