The Kerrville City Council unanimously approved placing a $45 million general obligation bond to pay for a 69,000-square foot public safety building on the May 7 ballot.
It wasn't without discussion, a hint of controversy and some shifting opinions about the scale of the project from at least one committee member that presented the bond recommendation to the City Council.
The bond would pay for a new police station, fire administration, municipal court, information technology and an emergency operations command center.
The approval caps a long, often contentious, process of moving forward with the construction of the building, which city officials and past City Council have long sought. It will replace the current police station that opened as a temporary location in 1995. The city of Kerrville has never had a purpose-built police station.
The new building would replace the fire administration office, which the city rents for $42,000 per year. The current municipal court building is in a temporary location. Since much of its work is related to public safety, the information technology department is in the new building.
Barbara Dewell, who served on a 10-member City Council-appointed committee to issue recommendations about the building, offered a contrarian narrative to the bond expense. Despite agreeing that Kerrville needed the structure, Dewell described the price tag as more of a wish list and argued that the committee never saw other plans from consultants.
John Harrison, who chaired the committee, urged the City Council to adopt the resolution to place the bond on the ballot.
For property owners, excluding those over the age of 65, their annual taxes would be $169 per year based on the valuation of $250,000.