On May 1, 2021 Anna voters approved the issue of $58 million in bonds to finance the design and construction of a second fire station, library/community center, and recreational and sports facilities. The issuance of these bonds will be over the next few years to minimize the affect of the tax burden.
The Bond Program Includes Three Separate Propositions:
Proposition A - Public Safety
Anna has grown more than 1,125% over the past 20 years. The City of Anna has called a bond election for a second fire station and ladder truck (quint/aerial apparatus) to improve operational efficiency for decades to come.
The proposed Fire Station #2 is planned to be located west of US-75 and north of FM-455 within the Villages of Hurricane Creek development. The site was provided by the developer to the City of Anna for this use. This site is optimal to improve response times city-wide, along the neighborhoods closer to US-75, and along US-75.
A study completed for the Anna Fire Department by UT Dallas in May 2019 recommended establishing a ladder truck (quint/aerial apparatus). A ladder truck would allow:
• Access to elevated structures
• Access to vehicles and people needing assistance up or down an embankment
• Access to areas that cannot support ground ladders
• Overhead access to rail cars and semi-trucks
• Rescuing persons in high places such as bucket trucks, power lifts, trees, etc.
• Elevating a master stream of water or large volume nozzle
Design of the Fire station will begin later this year and completion of construction may take up to 2 years to complete.
Proposition B - Community library
The Voters have approved the funding for the development of a public library/community center. This $22 million proposition includes the design and construction of a Library with multipurpose recreation, meeting, and classroom space. The facility will be designed with public input administered by the Neighborhood Services Department and seek to implement complementary objectives within the recently adopted Parks and Recreation Master Plan which can be found at https://anna2050.com/. The facility would be located on the Northeast corner of the municipal campus complex on State Highway 5 / North Powell Parkway.
Proposition C - Parks, Trails, Recreation and Sports
This $28 million proposition includes funding to implement the recommendations from the City of Anna Parks and Recreation Master Plan. A sample of capital improvements included in the Master Plan recommendations are:
• Planning, design, and property acquisition for an indoor recreation facility
• Planning and design for an outdoor fields to support neighbors who want to play sports closer to home
• Planning and design for additional trail connections to make important linkages to destinations throughout the City
• Amenities for currently undeveloped parks to provide neighbors access to recreation close to home
• Planning, design, and construction of a new community skate park
• Enhancements to existing facilities and sports fields
Q: What is a general obligation bond?
A general obligation bond is a form of borrowing that provides government entities with funds to finance large capital improvements. It is not uncommon for cities to borrow money to pay for the construction of roads, water lines, sewer lines, city buildings, parks, recreation facilities, and other capital infrastructure. This debt can be compared to a home mortgage that is repaid over time. Much like families who borrow money for big ticket items like their home, cities typically limit borrowing to the purchase of assets with a useful life of 20 or more years.
Issuing bonds allows cities to move forward with capital improvements now and spreads the cost over several years to allow for future taxpayers (who will enjoy the benefit of the new roadway or facility) to help pay for the asset. This process is similar as Anna ISD’s $155 million bond that neighbors passed in May 2016 for future facilities.
The city’s credit ratings (Aa3 from Moody’s and AA- from Fitch) allow the city to pay lower interest rates on bonds. The bonds are repaid with property taxes and require voter approval.
Q: What about water / wastewater projects?
Another type of bond that cities may issue is a revenue bond. Revenue bonds are secured by a pledge of revenue from an income-producing facility, and are usually designated with the name of the system that pledged the revenue (for example, Waterworks and Sewer System Revenue Bonds). Revenue bonds that are not payable from any taxes need not be submitted to the voters for approval under state law. This is a general obligation bond election.
Q: What is the tax rate impact?
Based upon the initial projection from last year when this process began, if all three propositions are approved, the average property owner with a $230,000 home within the City of Anna may see their property taxes increase a maximum of $8.27 per month or $99.28 per year. This was based upon the projected growth rates at that time; with new home construction of 700 homes per year for 5 years and 1% commercial growth.
However, since that time there has been a significant increase in growth and with a revised projection of 1,000 with a 3% growth rate, the cost for the average home, the average property owner with a $230,000 home would be significantly lower than previously estimated at a maximum of $4 per month or $48 per year. Depending upon the ultimate increasing growth rates in the community, these number could reduce further.
We will revisit these projections after each quarter to track the potential impacts and update those numbers here.
Q: When will these facilities be completed?
Voter approval of a bond proposition only authorizes the funding for the project(s). Before construction, the City must take steps to plan, gather public input, design, acquire property, and bid and construct projects. The process from planning to construction may take several months to a couple of years depending upon the size and scope of the project or facility. These bonds will be issued over the period of five years beginning in late summer of 2021.
Q: SINCE WE HAVE THE INTERNET, AREN’T LIBRARIES OBSOLETE?
Modern Libraries are not just about books. They are centers of community gathering, lifelong learning, educational centers, and passive recreational opportunities. The design of a community library in Anna will include public input, so that space is allocated for programs for classes, programs, technology equipment as well as physical materials. Services such as 3D printing, youth robotics and computer coding, ESL and GED classes, small business and non-profit resources and support, early literacy and school readiness programs for children and families, homework help, online safety and security, access to computers and wi-fi, partnering teens with seniors to learn how to use mobile devices, and much more may to be included in a community library.
Q: Where can I get more information or updates on future bond projects?
Any questions or comments may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org