The ballots are counted and the bonds are passed, now the work begins.
Voters on Saturday overwhelmingly approved $145 million in bonds, the city’s first propositions in 27 years, but work on the projects, in some cases, actually predates the May election, city officials said.
“Some of the projects were already included in the city’s capital improvement plan,” City Manager John Baumgartner said Tuesday. “So, work is already being done.”
The council in March, for instance, approved a design contract for an $11.2 million Grissom Road reconstruction project and design is also almost complete on a $7.7 million reconstruction project of Calder Road South, Baumgartner said.
The work is just the start of an ambitious schedule for city staff, officials said.
“If this takes 10 years, then you should probably start looking for a new city manager,” Baumgartner said.
Residents should start seeing completed projects within a three-year window and, with maybe one or two exceptions, the bulk of the bond’s projects should near completion within five years, Baumgartner said.
In addition to the work that began before Saturday’s election, city officials also hope to have three design contracts for drainage projects to the council before the end of the month, Baumgartner said.
Those first projects should be the first phase of improvements to the Bay Ridge neighborhood, which will add levee improvements and protection from drainage flow across state Highway 96; the first phase of improvements to the Oaks of Clear Creek subdivision and initial work on the Bay Colony and Dove Meadow subdivisions, Baumgartner said.
“Over the next two or three weeks, we’re going to do some work to see what the sequencing should be going forward,” Baumgartner said.
Some of the bond projects could be eligible for grant funding, which might push back the design and construction so city staff can complete those applications, Baumgartner said.
City officials also are awaiting the result of an environmental review of a $33.1 million project to connect Landing Boulevard to Interstate 45, Baumgartner said. Assuming the city receives an all-clear on that project, staff should have a design contract to present to the council in June or July.
Voters on Saturday approved three, separate measures.
The first was a $73 million bond for flood protection projects and drainage improvements. The money will fund 21 projects, the largest of which is a $15.6 million project to purchase land and construct a detention pond south of FM 517 to help divert water from Magnolia Bayou into Dickinson Bayou.
The second bond proposition was $72 million for street and road improvements. City administrators still need to hold talks with neighborhoods near some of those projects, such as on a $1.5 million plan to extend Walker Street from Texas Avenue east to FM 270, Baumgartner said.
Some of the details of those projects might still change, Baumgartner said.
“We’re taking an aggressive, systematic approach,” Baumgartner said.