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Irving Calls For Inflated Bond Election

Irving — During their Thursday, Feb. 13, meeting, the Irving City Council adopted an ordinance calling for a bond election this May.

The proposed bond is just over $493 million and is split into 12 propositions. However, on the ballot the costs are reflected with inflation, totaling $563 million.

“There hasn’t been an inflation factor [before.] The number put in front of us does have about a $70 million inflation factor,” councilman Al Zapanta said. “I want our citizens to vote on what it’s going to cost today, because we really don’t know what [it will cost] 5, 10, 15 years from now.

“I can guarantee we will not be selling all those bonds. I sat on the last bond committee in 2006; it was $317 million that we voted. We still haven’t sold all of those bonds.

“We are now talking about $563,400,000. That is huge. I don’t want to mortgage our future with an estimate we can’t pin down, and I’d like to be able to put a number in front of our voters that is very precise.

“We are doing a whale of a job putting it in front of our people,” Zapanta said. “I’m holding my nose, because I think we are asking our citizens to vote on something we can’t really deliver once we are all off this council.”

Street and transportation improvements is the largest proposition with over $207 million. Public safety joint facilities is second with $117 million, $152 million with inflation, and the third highest is park and recreation services at $65 million, or $78 million with inflation estimates.

Unlike previous elections, voters will be able to vote on each proposition individually.

“I’m pleased that for the first time this is being split up into 12 different propositions that everybody can vote on individually,” David Palmer, deputy mayor pro tem, said. “It’s one of those things where not everyone agrees 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. It’s not an all or nothing vote. Before when we’ve had these on ballots, it’s been one big amount, and you either voted yes or no. This has a variety of different categories in it, so I always encourage to go vote on it.”

Councilman John Danish motioned to adopt the ordinance and the vote was 8-1 with Allan Meagher voting against.