We are fortunate to be living in a city that continues to progress despite economic challenges of recent years.
Driving along West Broad Street to the city’s western boundary is a different experience now than several years ago. The two-lane, divided parkway mirrors the East Broad Street than serves as the major east-west thoroughfare for the city.
The second phase of the West Broad Street construction is about to get underway, as is its counterpart to the east when design begins for East Broad Street from Holland Road to Day Miar Road. When both of these projects are completed, Broad Street will be a four-lane, divided roadway from border to border across Mansfield.
And it happened because the voters of Mansfield approved the sale of bonds in 2004 to fund major road projects. And over the last eight years, those projects have been completed and we’re now exploring the possibility of our next bond election.
A city typically sells bonds for major infrastructure projects, such as roads, or facility improvements, like City Hall, the library and the Mansfield Activities Center. Residents vote during a bond election on the projects they want to fund.
Voters in Mansfield supported the sale of bonds for the construction of Hawaiian Falls, and the expansion of the animal shelter, as well as major roadway projects like Broad Street, Matlock Road, Walnut Creek Drive, Country Club Drive and Debbie Lane.
Imagine our community without these facilities, or without these road expansions. Your City Council and city staff work to identify not only the projects and services residents want, but need. We evaluate the cost and determine what we as a city can afford in debt.
Over the last several years, we have made significant strides to improve our city’s debt positions. Mansfield’s strong local economy, conservative fiscal policies and quality growth has paid off as bond rating agencies have improved our ratings over the years, lowering the amount of interest we pay on bonds we sell. This allows us to pay off that debt sooner, and makes our city an attractive investment to those investors buying municipal bonds.
As we explore and prioritize the road projects and facility improvements for a future bond election, citizen input will be important. There are some exciting possibilities for projects. What we need, what we can afford and the tax impact of those projects will all be evaluated and discussed as we approach the 2013 budget and service programs. Although these projects are funded using capital dollars secured through bonds, we are cognizant that service needs and service quality must also be addressed as we design programs that will grow the necessary revenues.
We appreciate the interest and support of all citizens as we continue to build our community for the present and for the future.