CITIZENS FOR A BETTER GALVESTON
URGES VOTER ADOPTION OF $62-MILLION BOND ISSUE ON MAY 6
A new citizens group is urging Galveston voters to approve a bond issue to rebuild or repave 50 miles of island streets, replace major sewer lines and storm drains, and improve drainage in some of the city’s most flood-prone areas.
Citizens for a Better Galveston is launching a month-long campaign for voter approval of the $62-million bond issue in the Saturday, May 6 election. “The money from these bonds will finance the biggest improvement to our infrastructure since the seawall was built and it will only cost the owner of a $216,000 home $5 a month in increased city taxes,” said Kitty Allen, the new group’s chairperson. “A vote for the bond issue will cost nothing extra for people over 65 whose properties are homesteaded.”
Members of Citizens for a Better Galveston believe the massive infrastructure plan will not only improve residents’ quality of life but also draw more families to live in Galveston. Improvements financed by the bond money also will boost the local economy and make the island more attractive to new businesses.
More than 100 taxpayers already have joined the Facebook page for Citizens for a Better Galveston. Others who are interested can find the page by searching for the group’s name on Facebook.
Galveston firefighters already have said they’ll join the campaign by Citizens for a
Better Galveston to convince Galvestonians to vote “YES” on the bond issue.
Fire Capt. Mike Varela Jr. said more than 100 members of Galveston Firefighters Association Local 571 are planning door-to-door support and other activities to boost the bond issue.
“The price is right,” Varela said. “It’s just a no-brainer that this is a good step for Galveston.”
Flooding caused by outdated and broken-down drainage systems not only damages homes and businesses but also slows response time for fire trucks and other first-responders, Varela said. “There are times when we just can’t make it down certain roads and we have to detour,” Varela said. “In our line of business, seconds count.”
“Dozens of our bumpiest and most pot-holed streets will be repaired and a long-term maintenance plan will be put in place to ensure that our infrastructure does not go neglected for many years again,” said Lisa Blair, treasurer of Citizens for a Better Galveston. “Doing all this work with money from a 20-year bond issue will enable the city to complete the projects in the next five years.”
Without the bond money, it would cost taxpayers up to $120 million to pay for the massive infrastructure program and take 20 years to complete it, Blair said. Voters can find complete lists of projects to be financed with the bond money at galvestontx.gov/bonds2017.
People who want to place yard signs supporting passage of the bond issue can request the signs through the Citizens for a Better Galveston Facebook page.
Among the major projects to be paid for with bond proceeds:
--Complete reconstruction of 45th Street from Broadway to Seawall, including bigger and better storm sewers and utility upgrades. Cost: $10.4 million
--Installation of larger water and sewer lines and complete repaving of 25th
Street from Broadway to Seawall. Cost: $4.1 million
--Reconstruction of the 18th Street drainage system from the Ship Channel to
Avenue K, improving drainage throughout the area. Cost: $10.2 million
--Repaving 37th St. from Broadway to Seawall, including replacement and enlargement of storm sewers, water and sewer lines. Cost: $5.9 million