Thursday, September 16, 2021

Lewisville calls $95 million bond election for public safety complex

The Lewisville City Council has called a $95 million bond election for voters to consider a proposed package to build a joint public safety complex.

The election will be held on Nov. 2. Early voting will start Oct. 18.

The package will be presented to voters as a single ballot proposition with voters choosing to vote for or against “the issuance of $95,000,000 general obligation bonds for public safety facilities, including fire facilities, emergency services facilities and police facilities,” according to a city news release. If approved by voters, the new complex will replace the current Police Department building and Fire Station No. 1 — which includes Fire Department administration — near the northwest corner of Main Street and Valley Parkway. It would encompass 116,000 square feet of space in a two- and three-story building that would meet all future projected space needs for police administration, fire administration and Fire Station No. 1.

The city says that combining public safety administration in a single complex would allow police, fire, and emergency management to share training and administrative space. The new facilities would include a hardened emergency operation center able to withstand tornado-force winds and a backup generator to prevent prolonged power losses, which happened during Winter Storm Uri in February. Fire Station No. 1 would be expanded from three apparatus bays to five to accommodate equipment and staff in support of future growth. A two-story parking garage would provide secured parking and building access for police and fire employees, and also provide protected parking for special-unit vehicles that often are parked unsecured currently, according to the city news release.

The total projected cost for the complex is $96.7 million. The bond election is for $95 million in general obligation bonds with the balance of funding coming from bond proceeds approved by voters in 2015 that are restricted for public safety purposes. Building design would start immediately after the election if voters approve the measure, with construction likely starting in December 2022.

City officials have determined that no property tax rate increase would be needed to fund the bond package, according to the news release. This can be done because of existing capacity under the portion of the existing property tax rate that is dedicated to debt payments, which is a product of the city’s long-standing practice of retiring debt after 16 years and refunding debt when lower interest rates are available.

For more information about the November 2021 bond election and the proposed public safety complex, visit cityoflewisville.com/2021bonds.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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