Cast well-informed votes
Judging by some of the things I’ve heard and some of the correspondence I’ve received, there is a lot of misinformation out there relative to the 11th Street bond issue and city issues in general.
The South Jetty has provided extensive and in-depth coverage of the 11th Street bond issue. In addition to the stories that led up to the city council’s decision to float a $6.4 million bond issue to pay for improvements to 11th Street, we ran a four-part series that is available online at www.portasouthjetty.com. The most recent was published April 28, so all four (April 7, 14, 21 and 28) are available online without a subscription. For those who prefer a hard copy, we have extra editions for sale at the office.
The South Jetty has expressed its support of the bond issue. It is everyone’s right to disagree with that. If you disagree, I trust your reasons are based on facts, not rumors.
One of the erroneous rumors circulating is that the expansion of the street from two lanes to three will eat into property owners’ land. Not so (unless you built in the public right-of-way). Where there are now open ditches, there will be underground utilities topped by an asphalt road.
And no, sales tax was not increased to cover the cost of street improvements. Sales tax is limited to specific uses, and street repairs are not among them.
One thing that is offsetting the cost of proposed 11th Street repairs is the use of impact fees that are charged to developers to compensate for the damage to city streets that occurs during construction. One of the requirements in using impact fees is that capacity be increased. In order to increase capacity on 11th Street, a center turn lane has been incorporated into the design. If the city elected to replace 11th Street with another two-lane street, the impact fees could not be used and the cost to taxpayers would be greater.
Also, there has been no lawsuit over poor workmanship on 11th Street, or any other street in town. Yes, some recent street work was found to be faulty, and it is being repaired – but that has nothing to do with 11th Street.
Don’t let a rumor get in the way of the facts.
If you care about Port Aransas, it is your responsibility to get the facts and discard false rumors before you take action that will affect the future of all our citizens.
Take it from Thomas Jefferson, who once said, “The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate.”
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.