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Galveston Voters To Decide On Bond Issue For Road And Drainage Improvements

Officials say they can’t delay streets projects any longer. Galveston voters are being asked to pay more in property taxes to fund that work.


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Map of Galveston's Capital Improvement Program
City of Galveston
Map of Galveston’s Capital Improvement Program

Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell says they did get some federal money for street repair after Hurricane Ike but it wasn't enough to take care of all the island's needs. Now they're contending with rising sea levels that are further damaging the city's aging streets.

Maxwell is calling it a maintenance nightmare.

"The residual effect of these tides on our drainage system is that it is leaving a tremendous amount of siltation in our drainage system," says Maxwell. "We're constantly having to pump drains of silt and everything else to keep the water flowing the best we can."

To try to fix those problems, Galveston voters on Saturday will be asked to approve a $62 million bond package that's dedicated solely to street and drainage upgrades.

"The bigger projects will all be complete reconstruction," explains Maxwell. "Another portion of the bonds is strictly what we call mill and overlay, which is where we rip up the asphalt, make base repairs, and then resurface the streets."

And Maxwell adds they're hoping to design a maintenance program so the city doesn't get back in the situation it's in right now.

"What we have put together is a sustainable financial program with level debt funding," says Maxwell. "Which we think will continue this street program well beyond my term here at the city and anybody who's elected here right now."

Galveston officials expect the bond package would cost the average homeowner an extra $60 a year in property tax.