City bond program has $47 million surplus

City comes in under budget on 2007 $550 million bond

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter,
Published On: Dec 24 2012 03:23:20 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 24 2012 10:00:13 PM CST

Five years after the 2007 bond propositions, which was approved at $550 million, were approved, there is a lot to show for it -- new roads, drainage projects and parks, in addition to museum and library improvements.

The Bulverde Road Project is one of the largest projects approved for construction and it is still underway.

"It's basically seven lanes for traffic, plus bike lanes and sidewalks, and all the utilities, so that was about a $30 million project," said City of San Antonio Engineer Mike Frisbie.

Frisbie reports the overwhelming majority of proposition projects have already been completed, thanks to the development of the Capital Improvements Management Services Department set up to oversee the bond program.

Frisbie said the city realized they were going to have a sizable surplus -- about $47 million -- about a year and a half ago.

"(The) recession hit and everything changed after that. Instead of having two or three bidders on city projects, we started having 10 or 12 companies wanting to build the projects. The competition got really great so the pricing got really competitive," Frisbie said.

The city went to work trying to to figure out how to allocate the additional $47 million.

"We have so many infrastructure (and) drainage and traffic needs throughout the city. Why don't we re-invest that into new projects and get those completed as well?" Frisbie said.

There are 23 bonus projects underway and one approved in 2007 still a couple of years away from completion.

Frisbie reports his biggest disappointment is the delay caused by the litigation on the Broadway/Hildebrand Project.

"That's a drainage project where there's a lot of street flooding on Broadway and Hildebrand, so what we're doing is putting in an underground drainage system," Frisbie said.

The project is scheduled to begin construction Jan. 18, 2013.