May 7, 2022 Street Projects Bond Election Information
Official Canvass of the Bond Election Results
Official Canvass of the General/Special Elections Results
May 7th, 2022 City of Shavano Park, Texas Election Information
All Elections information can be found at https://www.shavanopark.org/departments/elections_elecciones.php
Residents - you can now watch the both Street Projects Bond Election Town Halls on youtube and our Street Flyover Video:
If you missed these events there are no more planned Town Halls.
The current state of Shavano Park's Streets
The City's biggest cost challenge over the next 20 - 30 years will be road maintenance. Shavano Park, like all cities, is responsible to maintain public roads. The average road lifespan is 20 - 30 years, and with good maintenance 40 - 50 years. Most of the streets the City is responsible for were built before 1980 and are deteriorating. The City is responsible to maintain 20 miles of public streets and has $1.3M dollars saved. The total cost to maintain and repair these streets is in the millions and well above City savings.
The City faces a near term problem to repair the streets nearing failure. The City also faces a long-term problem of phasing the street repairs so that we have an affordable and feasible solution. By not addressing the near-term problem, the cumulative long-term problem will become a larger and more expensive project. The City developed a phased-in approach to street repair to be implemented over the next 20 years to be able to afford the work with a minimum effect on the budget and property tax rate:
• City will prioritize street repair on the worst areas, while simultaneously implementing a maintenance program for areas not being repaired. Once those problem areas are completed, the next worst streets can be planned and repaired. This is likely a 15–30-year effort. See map for all 3 planned phases.
The streets in Phase 1 below are nearing failure and require repair. There is an opportunity for federal funding for De Zavala improvements (Phase IA) that requires engineer planning to be competitive.
PHASE 1 - Includes 3 components: (1) complete street reconstruction of Bent Oak, Chimney Rock, Cliffside, End Gate, Fawn, Saddletree, Shavano, Wagon Trail, Windmill, (2) Repaving of Post Oak Way entrance (from Lockhill-Selma), and (3) complete street reconstruction of the cul-de-sacs of Elm Spring, Honey Bee, Hunters Branch, Turkey Creek
PHASE 1A - The re-paving of De Zavala Road with addition of a bike lane, sidewalks and drainage improvements. This is broken out because only a portion of the bond money is intended to be used. This project will be competed for federal funding.
This Bond Election is for complete reconstruction of the identified residential roads and cul-de-sacs - 12 inches of new road base and asphalt surface. No rough chip surfaces like in 2004, no band-aid asphalt only repairs. Band-aid repairs are not long-term solutions as these roads built in the 1950 - 1970s do not have solid base to put asphalt on. Shavano Drive was re-surfaced in 2019 and already is showing signs of failure and significant asphalt stress due to lack of sufficient road base.
Watch the video to see the completely reconstructed Arrow Mound cul-de-sac completed last year. Arrow Mound’s road reconstruction standards is the proposed road solution in this Bond Election.
On February 18, 2022 City Council voted to call a Bond Election for $10M for street repair for all streets in Phase 1 and 1A outlined above. Here is a summary of facts for the Bond Election:
- This Bond Election is for $10M in funding for (1) complete street reconstruction of Bent Oak, Chimney Rock, Cliffside, End Gate, Fawn, Saddletree, Shavano, Wagon Trail, Windmill, (2) Repaving of Post Oak Way entrance (from Lockhill-Selma), (3) complete street reconstruction of the cul-de-sacs of Elm Spring, Honey Bee, Hunters Branch, Hunters Branch South, Turkey Creek, (4) De Zavala repaving, sidewalks, bike lanes and drainage improvements.
- Street assessments identified 4 Phases of Street Projects - and prioritized the streets in worst condition according to Pavement Condition Index for this Phase 1 & Phase 1A Bond Election.
- A $10M bond would require an additional annual debt payment. That could equate to an increase of about 1 cent in property tax rate towards debt.
- If there was a $0.01 Tax rate increase to pay debt - All homeowners over 65 have zero tax increase (42% are tax frozen). A homeowner under 65 with an average home value $775,000 may see a $78 tax increase (annual).
- Street Sales Tax can be used to assist in funding the debt payment.
- The City projects that commercial properties pay 25% of any debt tax.
- The last debt to pay for street reconstruction in the City was in 2004 - 18 years ago. In last decade, the City has only spent $425,265 on streets (less than $50,000 a year).
- This project will NOT leave rough road surfaces like in 2004. Streets will be completely reconstructed with 12 full inches of new road material and ribbon curb. No sidewalks or bikelanes, right-of-way acquisition or road width expansion.
- Since 2010 the City Property tax rate has fallen from 0.324800 to 0.287742. This is almost half of San Antonio rate of 0.55827.
- A penny tax increase may enable City to fund future road projects.
- Any tax increase would not be used to pay for other service or employee expense - it would ONLY pay debt to improve streets!
- Interest rates currently remain at historic lows. However, on a $10 million bond issuance, the City estimates that a 0.25% change (increase or decrease) in the interest rate results in a $330,000 change (increase or decrease) in total financings costs.
Future Street Planning - Beyond Phase 1
Phase 2 - Old Shavano Park West neighborhood
The streets in this area were built in the 1970s and are in decent condition largely because of their curbs and newer age than Old Shavano Park East. The worst deteriorated areas of Shavano Creek and Old Shavano Park West neighborhoods is proposed to be repaired in the $10M Bond Election. In fact the City already repaired Arrow Mound cul-de-sac in fall 2021 because of its severe deterioration. Cul-de-sacs in Old Shavano Park West are in the worse shape than the roads because of the regular turning of larger vehicles like trash and delivery trucks as they turn around in a cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sacs of Turkey Creek, Honey Bee, Elm Spring, Hunters Branch and Hunters Branch South are all included in the Bond Election for Phase 1.
Phase 3 - Shavano Creek and Shavano Estates
These streets were built in the late 1970s - 1980s and are in good to decent condition. These streets also all have curbs that help extend life of the road. The Lockhill-Selma entrance of Post Oak Way in Shavano Creek is included in the Bond because it has significant road cracking due to much heavier traffic flow. Post Oak Way's southern entrance is the main entrance to the subdivision from Lockhill-Selma. The residentials roads further in the subdivision see less traffic and are therefore in better condition. The City anticipates with regular maintenance such as seal coating and crack sealing these roads can endure for many more years. Due to these roads better pavement conditions these neighborhoods are put in Phase 3.
Phase 4 - Lockhill-Selma and Pond Hill
These two major thorough ways were constructed in the early to mid 2000s and are still in excellent condition. The City anticipates with regular maintenance such as seal coating and crack sealing these roads can endure for many more years. These will be significant and quite costly road projects in the future as they must be built to sustain heavy traffic and heavy vehicles like semi-trailer trucks. This is why they are placed in Phase 4.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question not answered? Call the City at 210.493.3478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is this now such an immediate issue requiring all this money?
- The proposed street projects were identified as a City priority as early as the 20-Year Master Plan for Shavano Park, which was undertaken in 1999. This Master Plan identified 18 key recommendations. #1 was the need for a new City Hall facility. #2 was a new Police Department facility. #3 was to complete Phase 1 of a municipal recreation area. #4 was, as quoted from the 1999 Master Plan, “A major effort must be undertaken to repair/replace all residential streets East of NW Military Highway within the next 3-4 years.” #5 was a new fire department facility. 1999 Master Plan – Section 14, pages 1-4
- In 2004, the City issued debt for the streets and “resurfaced” many of the streets (this was a cheaper option than reconstructing them). Resurfacing streets that were not originally built to standard is a short term solution and, unfortunately, those streets are already beginning to fail. Proper reconstruction will include new and a greater amount of base material and ribbon curbs flush with the road which should result in streets that last 50-60 years as opposed to 15-20 years.
- The City is responsible for the maintenance of 20 miles of public streets. The reconstruction and resurfacing of these streets, if done over time will smooth the financial burden on the City and its taxpayers and address street projects as they arise. The City has identified a phased-approach to address street projects. The proposed street projects represent the first phase and include the streets on the east side of NW Mil Hwy, which are beginning to fail. The second phase of street projects are anticipated to start in . Undertaking more than one phase of street projects at a time would impose a much higher financial burden on the City and its taxpayers.
If you already knew this was a problem then why did you build the Playscape and spend all the money on the Municipal Tract, walking trail etc.
- The Pavilion, Playscape and walking trail have long been an objective of the City. As mentioned above, key recommendation #4 from the 1999 Master Plan stated, “Phase 1 of a municipal recreation area should be developed … at the 3-4 year point following the completion of the new City Hall / Police facility. Jogging/walking/biking paths/trails, minimal restroom facilities and a picnic area or areas with at least one medium sized open-air pavilion should be incorporated into the design.” 1999 Master Plan – Section 14, page 3-4
- From 2009 to 2019, citizens and City Councils considered improvements to the property adjacent to City Hall. Both the 2010 and 2018 Town Plans called for improvements to the property. In 2019, a citizen’s amenities committee was formed and they recommended building a Pavilion, Playscape, Bathroom and trails. City Council approved these improvements, which they considered a high impact project for the entire community at a relatively low cost. The facilities together offer a gathering place and assists in creating a sense of community. They are enjoyed by 100’s if not 1000’s of folks.
- The costs to build the Pavilion, the Playscape, the bathroom and all supporting equipment was $569,936.
- The cost to build the walking trails, benches, and Kiosk was $28,076.
- Total funds spent on these projects ([$598,012]) may have offset some of the street maintenance costs, but were not enough to address the proposed street projects, which are anticipated to be $10 million.
Will all residents pay an equal share to pay off the debt? Would rather (the City) borrow the money and let EACH homeowner pay their share (including those over 65).
- Each year the City levies an interest and sinking fund tax rate (“I&S”) from the property taxes that is sufficient to generate funds to repay the debt coming due in such year. Such I&S tax rate is imposed equally on each resident in the City regardless of the over 65 tax freeze. Note: although the same amount of property tax is allocated for those properties over 65 tax freeze to pay debt, those properties will not see an overall tax increase.
- The 1999 Master Plan called for an increase in Ad Valorem taxes to pay for all the recommendations and improvements. The plan also urged the Council to pass an over 65 tax freeze. Below is an excerpt from the plan:
“While the recommended tax rate is significant, it would still be one of the lowest rates in the area. That does not mean, however, that such an increase will not have an adverse impact on some members of our community, such as the elderly who are living on fixed incomes. In that regard, the committee strongly urges that the Mayor and City Council adopt an ordinance that exempts/freezes taxes for property owners, age 65 years and older, at the existing 22-24 cents per $100 in valuation. The committee strongly feels that our senior citizens should not be burdened with having to pay for the improvements that will largely be of benefit to the more youthful members of the community who still have their peak earning years in front of them.” 1999 Master Plan – Section 14, page 2
This seems to have all happened so fast, why haven’t we heard about the bond election until recently?
- Road maintenance has been a long-term priority of City. The streets have been identified as a major issue since the 1999 Master Plan. In 2005, the City issued debt to inexpensively address the issue by only resurfacing (as opposed to reconstructing) many of the streets. This was a short-term solution, and streets are again nearing failure.
- Road maintenance has been a long-term priority of City Council. In 2015, City Council adopted in the 2016 Budget the objective of: “Develop / maintain a city-wide street assessment, maintenance, and replacement schedule.” This objective was adopted again in the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 budgets.
- Road maintenance has been a long-term priority of City Staff. In 2019, the City purchased an industry-standard software tool for street analysis. In 2021, the City trained an intern to gather the data under the supervision of the Public Works Director and the City Engineer.
- The proposed Street projects in the Bond Election came into focus in 2021 with the completion of the street assessment. It was briefed to City Council on July 17th Council’s guidance was to adopt a plan to fully reconstruct the streets projects in the Bond Election. Council designated Alderman Konrad Kuykendall to work with city staff to develop potential funding solutions and present options at the beginning of 2022.
- On January 10th, Alderman Kuykendall presented the work of his informal working group between himself and staff. The funding options presented were 5- or 7-year plans paid in two ways: 1) with Certificates of Obligation (debt) issued each year; or, 2) use existing funds until depleted and then issue Certificates of Obligation (debt) for remaining costs. Because of the projected escalating costs, at this meeting Council gave guidance to consider a 1-year ($10 million) debt option (as opposed to 5 or 7 years of debt from $1.1 to $2 million each year)
- On February 3rd, Staff presented and City Council considered the 1 year debt option. After discussions with the City’s Bond Attorney and Financial Advisors, City Council gave guidance to consider a Bond Election where residents would vote to approve or disapprove.
- By law, the window City Council is authorized to call the Bond Election is only 12 days – this translates from Sunday, February 6th to Friday, February 18th. Staff worked with the Bond Attorney to prepare for a Special Meeting to call the Bond Election. Preparations were extensive and completed February 17th – just in time to conduct the meeting prior to the deadline to call the election.
- While the decision to call the bond election happened in about 15 days, 78 days remained before the election, which allows City Council and the Staff to implement an information campaign to inform voters prior to the election.
Note: The City has/had the option the finance these street improvements with non-voted debt but City Council determined that the bonds should be issued only if approved by the voters so that discussions, such as those which will happen tonight, between the City and its residents occurred before the debt was issued.