By Anita Miller
Hays County voters will be asked to approve a $75 to $80 million bond election on Nov. 3.
At the urging of the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC), the vote was 4-1, with Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe the sole dissenting vote. She said although she supported the projects she could not approve the financial commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in the proposal are 16 projects ranked as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Among the top proposals are $2.6 million for Coleman’s Canyon Preserve in Wimberley Valley, Sentinel Peak Park & Preserve in El Rancho Cima/Devil’s Backbone and the Rathgeber Natural Resources Park in Dripping Springs.
The list also includes initiates that would improve recharge and mitigate floods.
Patrick Cox of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) said the bond represents “an opportunity to invest in our beautiful lands for people, natural habitat, water quality protection and aquifer recharge” and said its approval by voters “will allow us to implement a plan that will provide these protections as we anticipate continued rapid growth and development in our county.”
Cox said the last parks and open space bond was passed in 2007 and at that time, the $30 million approved by voters translated into more than $75 million in projects. “An independent poll of county voters in June indicated strong support for a new bond issue to protect our special places in the county for future generations to enjoy as we have.”