On May 1, Georgetown voters have the opportunity to approve funding for ten new road projects that proponents say will improve driving safety and convenience; five projects each on the east and west sides of Georgetown, and seven of the ten will widen existing roadways.
Bond purchases are an important part of mobility because, unlike other capital improvements, when road improvements are needed, government must purchase land for right-of-ways and begin construction quickly. Thus, money needs to be readily available when the roads are needed.
Chair of the Georgetown Mobility Coalition Ron Garland explains, “A city cannot spread out payments over ten years because the cost of construction goes up every day we are not building, and no one wants construction on any roadway to pause, or last one day longer than necessary. Bond sales allow us to spend today’s money on a project that needs to be finished within 12 to 18 months, and right now, the bond market is selling at 2 percent interest; the lowest rate I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
Ron says we are fortunate these rates coincide with our current needs, which are critical rather than speculative. “We are not building for the future, we are meeting today’s needs. The city has not asked taxpayers to spend at this level since the 1970s, but Georgetown was much, much smaller then; those roads were not built for the volume of cars in 2021 Georgetown.”
Regarding cost, he adds, “Bonding road projects allows future users of that infrastructure to help pay for it, as opposed to using today’s tax dollars to pay for all the infrastructure needed. Bottom line, new growth will pay for itself. And, while we know there are safety concerns on Williams Dr., backups at intersections, and traffic on Inner Loop, also consider how fast you want EMS to get to your home? How manageable and safe are left-turn egresses for school buses? Safety is as critical as convenience.”
EAST V. WEST
All bond projects were selected by a Blue Ribbon Citizens Bond Committee representing all areas of Georgetown. The committee concluded rapid, consistent growth across the city demands mobility solutions in all areas of the city.
At Coalition events, Ron says, concerns have come to light that the bulk of the growth is specific to the Williams-Sun City area. However, building permits and congestion indexes across the city tell a different story—significant growth is everywhere.
As well, the “Williams Dr. Central” project, selected by the committee, is designed to greatly improve safety on Williams Drive. Currently, Williams Dr. has a “chicken lane” between signaled intersections. This industry term comes from the increased frequency of accidents caused by drivers attempting to cross two congested lanes of traffic without benefit of a traffic signal. Designated turn lanes, proper spacing, and physical barriers, should improve traffic safety significantly.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
The new debt will be paid for by a $.03 tax increase in the appraised value of our homes. The average home price in Georgetown is $300,000, which means about $87 per year in increased property taxes. Ron asks, “While no one enjoys paying more, isn’t it worth $7.50 a month for safer driving, better driving, and more convenience?”
Mayor Josh Schroeder adds, “I consistently hear that the community’s greatest frustration with growth is traffic. This mobility bond is a chance for the citizens of Georgetown to take action to address our transportation issues. I want this process to be completely transparent, so people will know how their tax dollars will be spent if they vote to approve this bond package.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Road Bond is the only proposition on the May 1 Georgetown ballot. The Georgetown Mobility Coalition recommends a “Yes” vote for Proposition A to support safer, better driving.
Visit GeorgetownMobilityCoalition.com for a map, important information on bond projects, or to donate to help the coalition educate citizens on this vote.