Killeen City Council opens public survey for feedback on possible bond proposal

Killeen City Council opens public survey for possible bond election
Killeen City Council opens public survey for possible bond election(KWTX)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:40 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Killeen City Council is in the process of garnering public input on a possible general obligation bond that could be in the ballot for the November general election.

The city opened a survey for feedback since there wasn’t much turnout at a workshop last week meant to educate residents on municipal bonds.

Mayor Debbie Nash-King said the workshop should have been packed. “We got to really push this out to the public because we really need their input, because when they get to the ballot, they really need to know why we decided to go this way,” said Nash-King.

City of Killeen Manager Kent Cagle said at last week’s workshop that it’s vital for taxpayers to be informed. “A general obligation bond is authority from the city to borrow money. It requires voter approval and it’s generally for large projects,” said Cagle.

Some of the projects mentioned was a recreation center, park projects, a new city hall and more.

“We’re very behind in parks projects, we have very little room in city hall, and we have employees spread out all over the city,” said Cagle.

Cagle said if all projects were approved, the tax rate for the average home owner would increase by 12 cents.

“Now that would not happen all at once, and that’s based on the worst-case scenario. Typically, the council might issue one part of the debt, and then five years later, issue another part, depending on the economy,” said Cagle.

However, some residents at the meeting had concerns about the bond.

“Even if the voters say no to $66 million in bonds, there’s going to be a new city hall built anyway, so I don’t know why we’re going through the whole process of asking us,” said a resident.

Mayor Pro Team Ken Wilkerson reassured the public the bond proposal is still in the planning phase.

“Part of it is planning. Part of it is acting on what citizens said, as far as going out and finding out if we want to do this, if we want to set this bond election and present that to the public. This is the first step,” said Wilkerson.

“It’s very important that we get the input from the residents because we’re asking you to vote on items that we presented to you,” said Nash-King.

You can find the public survey here.

The next public workshop is held March 30.