MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The hot topic in the City of Midland continues to be the proposed multi-million dollar road bond. Many of you have told us you're skeptical, you've asked how the roads got chosen, why it's so expensive and if there's another way to pay for it.
"I remember Midland had a little spirit, we had a little swagger to ourselves, we don't have that anymore," said Councilman J.Ross Lacy.
The goal of the proposed road bond project is to fix streets with a pavement condition score of less than 50 percent.
"These roads were identified by the study we did a couple of years ago that was presented last year, they were picked by engineering and transportation," said Lacy. "These are the roads they see every day, they have to go fix a pothole every time it rains, that's how they're identified."
Lacy said he knows it's not a cheap project. Water, sewer and maintenance repairs are included in the project, even some help fixing flooding issues.
"The reason this is so expensive is because we're not just coming in and doing two inches," said Lacy. "We're completely ripping the road out, replacing the water and sewer and everyone has got to remember there are miles of water and sewer lines addressed with this. We're going to put a brand new caliche down base, we'll seal that base, then we're going to do a five inch asphalt on major roads. That's a 30 year road, but we come back every 5-7 years and put some kind of sealant on it because asphalt does oxidate."
Lacy is aware of the negative reaction the bond proposal has gotten, he said property taxes create $50 million in revenue, the police and fire departments budgets alone are $55 million.
"To all of those commenting on Facebook, go look at the budget and you show me where there's $20 million to address this in the budget? Do we still want to have parks, do you want to sacrifice that? I had someone tell me why don't we sell the golf course and use that? That's a solution, not one I support," said Lacy. "I had one that said cut the fire and police budget, so you want to sacrifice public safety all in the name of keeping our tax rate low? Like I said, a reasonable tax rate doesn't translate into the lowest tax rate."
Earlier this week during a budget meeting, the Midland City Council looked at a second bond option. It would cut the cost nearly in half, the bond still covers 26 projects but would only last 5 years and cost $100 million. If voters approved it, for a $250,000 home, that means you'll pay about $100 more a year in property taxes.