2023 Bond Program
On Aug. 15, 2023, the Denton City Council voted to call a $309,590,000 bond election to address streets, drainage, parks, public safety, affordable housing, a new active adult center, a new South Branch Library, and City Hall West renovation.
The development of the proposed 2023 program involved an in-depth process of analysis and community input. The City of Denton formed a Special Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, a group comprising 40 community members, to evaluate and prioritize projects for the City’s bond program. Committee members met seven times during a two-month period in the summer of 2023.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Denton community members voted to approve seven of the eight propositions totaling $291 million. Approved propositions include streets, drainage and flood control, parks, public safety, affordable housing, a new active adults center, and a new South Branch Library. More information on each proposition is linked below.
What is a Bond?
A municipal bond is a type of debt issued to raise funds for public projects, with investors lending money in exchange for periodic interest payments and the return of the principal amount upon maturity.
What is a Bond Election?
A municipal bond election is a process through which a local government seeks approval from its residents to issue bonds for funding specific purposes or projects, such as infrastructure improvements or community facilities.
How are the bond projects selected?
The selection of bond projects involves a comprehensive process that considers input from community members, city officials, and various stakeholders. City departments assess current infrastructure, growth projections, and community priorities in the City's master plans. Public feedback from meetings, surveys, and other engagement opportunities also significantly determines which projects will be included in the bond program.
How was the bond recommendation developed?
On April 4, 2023, the Denton City Council approved a resolution to create a Special Citizens' Bond Advisory Committee for the proposed November 2023 Bond Election. The committee discussed items related to a Bond proposal, including a prioritized list of projects that address the City Council's goals and strategies, including facilities and infrastructure. This committee met several times over the summer of 2023 and made their recommendations on July 11, 2023.
What is included in the bond?
- Streets: Street improvements to Mingo Road and Ruddell Street, including railroad quiet zones on Mingo Road.
- Drainage: Mitigating flooding risks with Oakland drainage and upstream detention improvements and Pecan Creek Tributary (PEC-4) Phases 3 & 4 drainage improvements.
- Park System: A new inclusive playground, aquatic facilities updates, and trail development.
- Public Safety: Replacement of two fire stations and upgrades to the animal shelter.
- Affordable Housing: Providing more accessible living opportunities for our residents.
- Active Adult Center: A new active adult center to serve the community’s 50+ age group.
- South Branch Library: A new, larger South Branch Library.
- City Hall West: Renovation of City Hall West for City offices and community event space.
Where can I find more information about specific bond projects?
For detailed information about each bond project, including descriptions, expected outcomes, and funding levels, visit the City of Denton 2023 Bond Program webpage at www.cityofdenton.com/2023Bond and explore information on each proposition.
When will the bond projects begin, and what is the timeline for completion?
The timelines for each bond project may vary depending on the complexity and scope of the initiatives. Some projects may begin shortly after the bond's approval, while others might require additional planning and preparation. The City will provide regular updates on the progress of each project and their anticipated timelines.
What happens if the bond election passes?
If the bond propositions are passed at election, the City will proceed with the planned projects, utilizing the bond funds as approved by the voters. The projects will be overseen by the City Council’s Bond Oversight Committee.
What happens if the bond program is not approved by voters?
If voters do not approve of the bond propositions, the City will reassess its approach and may explore alternative strategies to address infrastructure and community development.
Where can I find information about voting in Denton?
To learn more about voter eligibility, registration, voting dates, and locations, visit Denton County's Election page at www.votedenton.com.
The City of Denton’s debt management practices have earned it AA+ (“High Grade”) ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch rating services. These high credit ratings lower the City’s borrowing costs.
Additionally, the City of Denton regularly reissues bonds at lower interest rates (a refunding bond) to save the taxpayers money. Since the City’s last bond election in 2019, the City has saved taxpayers more than $14 million through refunding bond issues.
The city of Denton has seen significant and continued growth in its tax base over the past 10 years, seeing an average annual growth of 9.8% over that period of time. This tax base growth is the primary factor that determines the City’s future capacity to sell bonds.
Annually, the City sets two tax rates:
- Maintenance and Operations: used for on-going operations of the City including salaries, programs, building operations, fleet maintenance, etc.
- Interest and Sinking: used for the annual debt service on outstanding property tax supported bonds
These two tax rates combine to create the overall tax rate. Assisted in part by continued growth, over the past 10 years the City has been consistently lowering the overall tax rate paid by property owners – a reduction of $0.1291 per $100 of valuation.
Potential Tax Rate Impact of 2023 Bond Program
In projecting the impact of the 2023 bond program on tax rates, the City of Denton has made several assumptions about a future bond program and future financial conditions:
- A FY 2023 I&S tax rate of $0.20425 per $100 valuation
- A 6-year implementation of the 2023 Bond Program
- Bonds issued annually
- Equal annual payments on each series of bonds
- 20-year maturity on each series of bond
- A borrowing cost estimated at 5%
- Taxable value growth at 4.77% (base case)
Based on these assumptions, the tax rate impact of the 2023 bond program is estimated to be no more than 0.05764 per $100 of valuation.
It is important to note that this is an estimate and the actual tax rate impact may vary. As an example, the tax rate impact for the 2019 Bond Program was estimated to be no more than 3.5 cents ($0.035) per $100 in valuation. In fact, the tax rate has been reduced since 2019.
Under the City's Public Art Policy, public art shall be considered by the City Council for inclusion in a bond program, though including public art in a bond program is not required.
The amount of public art funding within any given bond program, if applicable, will be within a range of between 2% and 4% of those portions of the bond program that are not related to streets, drainage, traffic control, and other similar infrastructure.
This funding may be contained within a single public art proposition or separated into eligible propositions. The table below provides information on how public art was included in previous bond programs:
|Bond Program||Within Applicable Propositions||Stand-Alone Proposition|
The 2023 Bond Program includes funding for public art within four (4) applicable propositions:
- Proposition D: Public Safety
- Proposition F: Active Adult Center
- Proposition G: South Branch Library
- Proposition H: City Hall West
For each above proposition, the public art amount is approximately 2% of the total proposition amount.
- Proposition A
- Proposition B
- Proposition C
- Proposition D
- Proposition E
- Proposition F
- Proposition G
- Proposition H
The City of Denton has a limited number of 2023 bond program yard signs that are available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Signs may be picked up at the City Manager's Office at City Hall (215 E. McKinney St.) during normal business hours.