Surprise voters reject General Obligation bond

Surprise voters rejected a $63 million General Obligation bond initiative in the November 8th General Election, that would have funded nine capital improvement projects over the next five years. 
At final vote tally, as canvassed by the City Council on November 23, the bond initiative was rejected by 50.47% of the voters (23,858 votes). 49.53% (23,411) voted in favor of the bond.
“I want to thank everyone who came out to vote in this election,” says City Manager Bob Wingenroth. “Through this process we heard from many of you that you would have preferred more ballot options; that would have separated the projects into three categories- Public Safety, Transportation and Recreation. We will take that valuable feedback into consideration for a possible future bond vote.”

The projects that were included in the bond initiative were:

Fire Station 308- Design & build a permanent 10K square foot Community Fire Station at the corner of Cactus and Litchfield Roads.

Permanent Fire Station 304- Design & build a permanent 15K square foot Community Fire Station at 163rd Ave and Happy Valley Rd to replace the current temporary, modular facility.

Police Property & Evidence Facility- Design and construct a larger facility, which would include expanded storage, new walk-in refrigerators/freezers to assure preservation of biological evidence. Includes additional outdoor secured evidence storage.

Land for Police Substation/Fire Station/Park- Acquire 16 acres of land for future location of shared Police Substation/Fire Station & a local park in city’s growing southwest portion.

Public Works Operations Facility- Design and construct a new facility to house the Solid Waste, Street Maintenance, Traffic Signal Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance operations of Public Works in a centralized location. Centralization will result in two vacated buildings that will be used to serve Police and Fire-Medical needs.

Greenway Rd Improvement- This project will finish the south half of Greenway Rd from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303. Improvements will include two additional travel lanes, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, street lighting, landscaping and turn lanes.

Litchfield Rd Improvement- Improvements will provide two travel lanes each in north and south direction, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, turn lanes, lighting and landscaping.

Regional Recreation Complex- The city would purchase 70 acres of land for a variety of lit ball fields and sports courts, playgrounds, ramadas, restrooms and reserved land for a future rec center/fieldhouse.

Aquatic Center Expansion- Regional aquatic facility with an 8-¬lane 50 meter pool, diving area, shaded bleachers for up to 1200 spectators, concessions and more.

If approved the bond would have authorized the city to levy a secondary property tax to repay the bond debt used to finance the projects. That amount was estimated at $0.4642 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value.  The city currently does not have a secondary property tax dedicated to the repayment of debt.

The results are unofficial, with the County having a maximum of 15 days to canvass the votes after the election.