Howerton reported that the city’s current bonded indebtedness will be paid off by Sept. 30, 2016, which is the end of its fiscal year. That debt includes the general fund and the water and sewer fund.
“This meeting is more of a heads up, so that everyone on the city council is well-informed and will be able to plan ahead for the proposed multi-million dollar bond election that will be held in May of 2016,” Howerton said.
“We must make a plan for future developments,” he continued. “This city needs a lot of improvements and there needs to be time for planning and consideration of the items that are proposed. When, and if, all parties -— the council and the people of Mineral Wells — consent, they can proceed with introducing new debt that would allow for those needed improvements. The cost of the proposed projects include more than $54.2 million in the general fund and $16 million in the water and sewer fund.
“The council can then decide, if it pleases the community, to move forward with the entire proposal, select a few items a la carte or throw the entire thing out,” Howerton said.
He continued by saying that they will not revisit this issue until later in the year so the council has ample time to think things through.
The general obligation bond proposal would include a new city hall and police station, a recreation center and other parks and recreation improvements — such as a multi-use recreation field complex, improvements at Woodland Park Cemetery, streets and drainage improvements and expansion of Boyce Ditto Public Library and other miscellaneous projects.
Projects involving proposed street upgrades, including new city routes and water and sewer infrastructure improvements, are all on the table for discussion, and they would come from the water and sewer funds.
Howerton explained that it was a planning document more than anything and that there would not be any hasty decisions made. So, therefore, no action was taken at this meeting.