Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bond Program?
A bond is a form of debt obligation that, when issued, provide the city with funds to finance large capital improvements that serve a public purpose, such as streets, drainage, libraries, parks, and other community facilities. General Obligation Bond Programs, such as the one proposed, require voter approval and are repaid through a portion of property tax revenues.
Will the City’s tax rate increase if the bond propositions pass?
It is anticipated that this program would not require an increase in the property tax rate, based on the retirement of existing debt and anticipated increases in taxable property value over the next five to seven years. The city’s previous bond program, approved in 2003, was also completed without an increase in the property tax rate. These projections are based on current financial conditions, trends, and forecasts and may change based on actual future market and economic conditions.
What is the City’s credit rating?
The City’s existing debt portfolio for General Obligation Bonds is rated as AA2 from Moody’s Investors Service. The rating reflects the agency’s evaluation of the City’s size, financial condition, tax base, and internal controls compared to those of other local governments across the United States. Further, they reflect the City’s prudent financial management and planning to preserve a healthy financial position. While the most recent ratings provide some indication of how future debt might be rated, any debt that is authorized as a result of this election will be rated at the time of issuance based on conditions as they exist at that time.
How will the City decide which streets will be repaired or rehabilitated?
The City will identify street repairs and rehabilitation projects using pavement analysis, which prioritizes street segments based on the overall pavement condition. Projects will be implemented as part of the City’s 5-year capital improvement program.
Where will the new library be located?
If voters approve Proposition B to fund a new library, the City Council will move forward with design of the building, which would include a site analysis. The site analysis will take into consideration space needs for the new building, environmental impacts, costs, and other factors for the existing site and potential new locations. A location for the new library would be selected with input from the City Council, the Library Board, and citizens.
How did the City decide on the size of the library?
The City engaged an architectural firm with public library design experience to perform a needs assessment for the library. The square footage for the new library was calculated to meet Texas Public Library Standards to provide programming and resources for the city's current population and projected growth for the next 10 years.
What improvements are included for the Senior Center?
The Senior Center was constructed in 1967 and has significant limitations for accessibility and programming. Improvements funded by Proposition C would include repairs and updates to programming space and building layout to accommodate expanded programming for seniors, such as a lunch program.
Where will the pool be located?
If voters approve Proposition C to fund a the replacement of the outdoor pool, the City Council will move forward with design, which would include a site analysis. The site analysis will assess environmental conditions, potential impacts to existing programs and amenities, and other site-specific considerations. The pool location would be selected with input from the City Council, the Parks & Recreation Board and citizens.
What is a “signature” park?
A signature park is a large community park that provides programming and amenities to serve as a destination for residents and visitors. The signature park proposed in the bond program would be centrally located to serve residents throughout the city, and the park would be connected to the city’s existing network of trails, parks, and open spaces.
What is a Crime Control & Prevention District (CCPD)?
A Crime Control & Prevention District (CCPD) designates 1/8 of one percent of sales tax revenue to fund community safety and crime prevention initiatives. The Cedar Hill CCPD was approved by voters in 2012 and funds the Cedar Hill Police Department’s Police and Community Team (PACT) Unit, among other initiatives. Since 2012, Cedar Hill’s overall crime index rate has decreased by 10 percent. In November, citizens will be asked to extend the CCPD for an additional 15 years.
How will the CCPD be funded?
The Cedar Hill Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) designates a portion of sales tax revenue to fund community safety and crime prevention initiatives; this proposition does not propose an additional tax. One-eighth of one percent of existing sales tax revenue is designated to fund the CCPD. Funding the community and crime prevention initiatives through the CCPD rather than through the city’s property tax revenues saves citizens an estimated three cents on the property tax rate, or $48 per year based on the average home value in Cedar Hill.
How were the Bond projects selected?
Based on public input and citizen feedback, the City Council appointed residents to a Citizen Bond Review Committee in January 2017. The Committee’s charge was to review and evaluate current and future community needs and recommend projects for City Council consideration and inclusion in a potential November 2017 bond election. The City Council reviewed the Committee’s recommendations and financial implications and approved a resolution calling an election on November 7, 2017 to allow citizens to vote on the committee’s recommended projects.
How were the funds approved in the last bond election in 2003 spent?
In 2003 voters approved five bond propositions authorizing $60 million. Learn more about the 2003 bond projects here.
I've heard that the Government Center project approved in the 2003 bond program went over budget. Is that true?
In 2003 Cedar Hill residents approved $19.9 million in general obligation bonds for a municipal government complex. The Government Center is a shared facility between the school district and the City. The total cost of the project was $27.5 million, with the school district contributing $6 million and the City contributing over $21 million, funded through general obligation bonds and interest earnings from the bonds. Learn more about the 2003 bond projects here.
The partnership between the district and the City, the first of its kind in Texas, saved citizens over $4 million in construction costs and produces savings in ongoing maintenance and operational expenses. Building one facility instead of two smaller buildings eliminated the duplication of many expensive features, including meeting chambers, a data process facility, parking, landscaping, and conference rooms.
When is the election?
Election Day is November 7, 2017, and the early voting period is October 23 – November 3, 2017. Dallas County residents can visit www.dallascountyvotes.org, and Ellis County residents can visit www.co.ellis.tx.us for more information on polling locations other voter information.
How can I find my polling location?
Dallas County residents can visit www.dallascountyvotes.org, and Ellis County residents can visit www.co.ellis.tx.us for more information on polling locations, to look up your voter precinct, or find additional voter information.
How can I register to vote in the election?
The last day to register to vote in the November 2017 election is October 10, 2017. Dallas County residents can visit www.dallascountyvotes.org, and Ellis County residents can visit www.co.ellis.tx.us to learn how to register, confirm your registration find additional voter information.