Bond Measures Mixed in Latest Election

Credit: Best Hotel Homes

By Roland Murphy for AZBEX

New bond requests around the state delivered a mixed bag of results for public entities seeking new funding sources.

Gilbert Transportation Bond: $515M

The Town of Gilbert sought an ambitious $515M bond to fund transportation projects over the next several years. Gilbert’s last transportation bond request was in 2007.

Key items to be funded include:

  • A bridge from Greenfield to Higley roads: $67.2M;
  • Reconstruction of Guadalupe Road from Arizona Avenue to McQueen Road: $9.9M;
  • McQueen and Guadalupe roads Intersection Improvements: $12.4M;
  • Extension of Vaughn Avenue: $23.1M, and
  • Val Vista Lakes Subdivision Maintenance: $47.5.

Votes were still being tabulated as of the AZBEX press deadline on Thursday, and no official results were expected until Friday at the earliest. According to media reports, however, the measure appears likely to pass.

Chandler: $272.M for Five Sectors

Still maintaining a degree of uncertainty about voters’ appetite for a single major funding request, the City of Chandler broke its bond request into five bite-sized chunks covering different areas of municipal operations and projects.

The City has broken its $272.7M bond measure – its first in 14 years – into five separate components:

  • Public works, streets and transit: $85.8M;
  • Parks and recreation and community services: $73M;
  • Police: $55.2M;
  • Facilities: $33.6M, and
  • Fire: $25.2M.

The major projects Chandler hopes to fund include:

  • A.J. Chandler Park Improvements: $10.8M;
  • Mesquite Groves Regional Park Phase 2: $19.6M;
  • Two fire station projects: $15.7M;
  • Police Forensic Services Facility: $38.7M;
  • Kyrene Road Improvements: $5.2M, and
  • Ray and Dobson Roads Intersection Improvements: $17.3M.

As of Wednesday, unofficial results from the Maricopa County Board of Elections appeared to show all five measures passing by a wide margin.

K-12 Requests Getting Mixed Results

On the public education side, the vast majority of requests around the state were Maintenance & Operations Overrides to continue existing funding that would otherwise phase out in the near future.

On the bond front, seven districts had measures before votes requesting new funding.

In the largest K-12 request, Queen Creek Unified School District asked voters to approve a $286M bond request for infrastructure, security and school programming resources. As of Wednesday, the measure appeared unlikely to pass.

Gila Bend Unified School District asked voters to approve joining West-MEC. Approval would result in a $144.2M bond that would enable the District to provide technical education at community colleges or West-MEC facilities. The request appeared headed for passage as of Wednesday.

Tolleson Union High School District requested $125M for new school construction, building maintenance, enhanced security and safety measures and other projects. Passage appeared likely in early tabulations.

Higley Unified School District asked voters for $95M that would go toward new building construction, existing building renovations and purchasing one of two middle school buildings the District currently leases, among other projects. The measure appeared to be failing as of Wednesday.

Pendergast Elementary School District sought $53.5M in a bond request for construction projects and renovations. The request appeared to be passing as of Wednesday.

Cave Creek Unified School District had requested $40M for STEM and technology, safety, building maintenance and other projects. As of Wednesday afternoon, the measure appeared to be failing by a narrow margin.

Littleton Elementary School District requested a $15M bond for buying or leasing property, constructing new buildings, renovating new buildings and improving school grounds. The measure appears likely to pass.

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