Friday, August 19, 2022

Denton County eyes transportation bond for November ballot

Denton County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to create a bond committee to bring a bond election before voters in November to focus on road projects throughout the county.

The last time voters approved road bond packages were in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

“I do know there’s been a desire for us to have this. A lot of cities have reached out to the court to submit projects,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said during Commissioners Court. “It’s important for us to have public involvement in this as we have done in the past.”

The bond committee, to be comprised of civic, municipal and county leaders, will have a series of public meetings this summer to build a list of projects. The meetings will be posted and the public will be invited to attend.

John Polster, owner of Innovative Transportation Solutions Inc. and the transportation consultant for Denton County, told Commissioners the county’s 2008 bond package approved at just under $500 million of which $280 million yielded 137 local, county, state and federal road and bridge projects in all four precincts and in an estimated 29 cities. The 2008 bond funds were leveraged into $6 billion worth of road projects in Denton County. The 2004 bond project with $187 million set aside for roads resulted in an estimated $1.6 billion in road projects.

“The state has to have partnerships with counties that are forward thinking enough to put the funds out to start the project so they’ll come in and take over,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Ryan Williams said in describing the process Denton County has used to successfully work with TxDOT and ensure projects are funded and built.

As Denton County grows, Judge Eads said the need continues to improve existing roads and bridges as well as look ahead to needed projects to handle additional traffic.

“We’ve made it through several presidential administrations implementing the bond program from 2008,” Judge Eads said, adding that Denton County has judiciously implemented prior bond packages and is still utilizing 2008 bond funds this year to complete projects.

“We have a long view on transportation,” he said.

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