By Anita Miller
Hays County is looking to add a $75 to $80 million bond election to the Nov. 3 ballot. The money would be to fund new parks, trails, open spaces, natural areas and habitat conservation, as well as water quality and flood mitigation projects throughout the county.
The last time Hays voters were asked to approve a parks bond was in 2007, when 68 percent of voters approved $30 million that was leveraged for more than $76 million in projects.
The county’s Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) recommended the ask to the commissioners court on July 28. POSAC has received 18 proposals for projects that have already been reviewed according to the county’s Parks, Open Space and Natural Areas Master Plan, which was approved in 2012.
All told, those projects added up to more than $176 million and were suggested by county staff, municipalities, nonprofit and land trusts working with landowners.
Voter support for a bond election has been shown, the county said in a news release, by a poll that showed 71 to 77 percent voter support. The bond election would not affect the county’s tax rate and includes the Sentinel Peak Park and Preserve.
Commissioners will consider calling the bond election at their Aug. 11 meeting. By law, they must act before Aug. 17 in order to have it on the November ballot. Ahead of that, POSAC will host two public, hourlong Zoom meetings. Advance registration is required:
Tuesday, Aug 4, 5:30 to 6:30pm
To Register: http://tiny.cc/POSAC_Aug-4
Thursday, Aug 6, 6 to 7 pm
To register: http://tiny.cc/POSAC_Aug-6
Additionally, information on POSAC and the public meetings can be found on the County webpage: https://tinyurl.com/HaysCountyPOSAC