When Burleson renovated a former post office in 1995 to house the Police Department, the city had fewer than 20,000 residents and the department had 46 employees.Approaching 20 years later, 81 Police Department employees who serve a city of almost 40,000 are crammed into the same building.On Nov. 5, voters will be asked to approve a $20.39 million bond package that has four propositions. One is for $5 million to expand police offices.Other propositions are for street and “public mobility” improvements; to bring the public safety radio system into compliance with current standards; and to renovate the Nola Dunn Gymnasium into a community arts center.The ballot also will have 12 propositions to amend the city’s charter to bring it into compliance with state law. One propositions would change City Council terms from two to three years.Assistant City Manager Paul Cain said the city’s last bond election was for park improvements in 2007, and the last street improvement bond election was 2004.“There will be lots of things for our citizens to consider, and we hope they will all come out and vote,” Cain said.Early voting is Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. Election day is Nov. 5.What’s on the ballot Proposition 1: Street and public mobility improvements, $12.84 million. This includes extending Alsbury Boulevard across railroad tracks to Hulen Street. Alsbury would eventually connect with the Chisholm Trail Parkway. Another project would relieve congestion in the Texas 174/Wilshire Boulevard corridor. Burleson is applying for federal funds, which require a local match. Proposition 2: Purchasing public safety radios that comply with current communications standards, $1.8 million. The new system will allow Burleson to communicate directly with Fort Worth and Johnson County, which already use the new radios. Proposition 3: Police station facility acquisition and improvements, $5 million. The jail and police dispatch would remain in the current building. If approved, the city would purchase land and/or remodel a building to house the Police Department. Proposition 4: Renovate the Nola Dunn Gymnasium, $750,000. Possible uses include community arts and theater or a public gymnasium. Bonds would be sold for this project only if matching donations came from corporations or economic development revenue.Property tax impactIf all four propositions pass, city administrators estimate that the property taxes on a home valued at the city’s average of $122,061 would increase $64.08 per year. Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz
Burleson bond election
Three informational meetings are scheduled. All start at 6 p.m . Oct 14: St. Ann Catholic Church, 100 S. Alsbury Blvd. Oct. 15: Burleson High School lecture hall, 100 Elk Drive. Oct 22: Centennial High School seminar room C, 201 S. Hurst Road.