Houston Matters

Voters to decide on bond referendums in Harris County, Spring ISD in November election

Among them are a $478 million for Houston to spend on public safety and health, parks, an animal shelter and solid waste management.

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz/Houston Public Media
This August 25, 2018, photo shows a voting sign in Harris County regarding the election on the county’s bond for flood prevention and mitigation projects.

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The upcoming election is not just about preferred candidates for various offices. There are also bonds on the ballot for voters to approve or reject.

Among them are a $478 million for Houston to spend on public safety and health, parks, an animal shelter and solid waste management.

Harris County residents will vote on three separate bond proposals that would spend a total of $1.2 billion to fund transportation projects, roads and drainage, parks, and public safety.

Spring ISD voters also have a bond to vote on for $850 million. Houston Matters with Craig Cohen spoke to Milton Rahman, executive director of the Harris County Engineering Department, about the county’s bond.

Proposition A for the bond is for public safety, infrastructure, totaling $100 million. Proposition B is for $900 million for roads and drainage. Proposition C is for parks and trail improvements for $200 million. It would go towards connecting transit systems to schools.

Harris County is holding community engagement meetings about these bonds to explain what they are for to the public.

“Our residents, they know their neighborhoods more than [us],” he said. “Whether you have a bad road that needs improving, whether you have an unsafe intersection that needs improvements, or a neighborhood’s draining. So you can come to those meetings and provide us feedback.”

The next meeting is Monday, October 3, at 6 p.m.

Residents of Spring ISD will also vote on a bond of $850 million. It would go towards security, maintenance, and renovations, including building Spring High School. Cohen also spoke with Mark Miranda, executive chief of operations for Spring ISD, who said it’s been six years since the District’s last bond.

“There are new needs in our district related to safety and security, technology and facilities,” he said.

The bond is separated into three propositions. The first is for $681 million for safety and security, and the rebuilding of Spring High School. The money would also go towards renovating other schools in the district. The second proposition is an education performance and instructional center.

“Eighty percent of its use would be academics and arts,” Miranda said. “Things like career and technology education, STEM education, expos and events.”

Miranda said it would also be a reunification location if there was ever an incident at one of its schools to reunite students with parents.

The third proposition is $28 million for mostly technology and infrastructure.

“We have lots of instructional technology,” he said. “And then infrastructure to keep us connected.”

Spring ISD is also holding public hearings, including one on Monday at Bailey Middle School. Miranda said there was a bond steering committee that included parents, students and community members had input on.

“This is more for informational purposes,” Miranda said.

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