FBSP supports city bond funding of $100M to buy park and watershed protection lands in the Onion and Barton Creek watersheds as part of the City’s 2018 Bond Referendum. While there are many worthy projects under consideration, the recommendations from City Staff and the Bond Election Advisory Task Force (BEATF) Open Space Working Group don’t go far enough to provide watershed protection funds, so Friends urges that the BEATF include $100M of funding to take more Barton Springs watershed lands out of the development pool and help protect the springs and prevent flooding in the lower Onion and Slaughter Creek watersheds.
As detailed here and on the City’s Bond Election Advisory Task Force website, city staff’s current 2018 bond proposal package of $640M would require an additional 1-2 cent tax rate increase. From this amount, the bond package proposal would allocate $30M to PARD for open space and parkland acquisition (against a request for $25M), and would allocate $20M to WPD for open space and parkland acquisition (against a request for $150M). In short, city staff is recommending $50M for open space and parkland acquisition.
As detailed here, the Parkland/Open Space Working Group is recommending $85M for land acquisition, including $50M for WPD “Watershed Protection Land Acquisition” and $35M for PARD land acquisition all around town. See, Open Space Working Group Report, II(B)(2) and III(B). Better, but not enough.
We urge all Friends to support City Bond Funding of $100M to buy park and watershed protection lands in the Onion and Barton Creek watersheds. Your next opportunity will be at the Community Input meeting tomorrow (Dec. 7, 6:30pm at Hampton Branch Library in Oak Hill) where participants are given $800M in “bond fund” cash to hand out to the various bond categories with explanatory notes. At the meeting, you can weigh in with (at least) $100M in “cash” to support buying Barton Springs watershed lands to take them out of the development “pool” and help protect the springs and prevent flooding in the lower Onion and Slaughter Creek watersheds. You can also take the 2018 Public Input Bond Survey by clicking here to express your bond funding priorities.
Please let the BEATF that the amount for parkland and open space should be doubled, noting that there is a strong argument that parkland/open space bond projects are very successful in getting voter approval for bond elections.