Fairview Mayor Briefs Residents about May 4th Bond Election
Twenty-eight Fairview residents turned out at 7:00 pm on Apr. 9 for Mayor Darion Culbertson’s Town Hall briefing about the May 4 bond election. This was one of four such Town Hall events around the town presented by members of the Town Council and Mayor. Councilmembers Bill Nichols and Cynthia Brugge were also in attendance.
If voters approve the bond proposal, the Mayor said, “I am confident that the new Town Council and Mayor will do the right thing and act responsibly.” This was in answer to a question suggesting that several members of the Council may have recently signaled their intent to revisit the proposed cost of constructing a new Fire Station No. 1 to replace the current facility even if the bond proposal passes. Such a move could further delay construction of the facility to replace the current temporary structures that Fire Marshal Travis Green described as, “Were it not the Town’s fire station, I would never allow them to be occupied”.
The briefing lasted 90 minutes and following the Mayor’s presentation, many in the audience spoke in support of the bond proposal. Only one resident expressed opposition. Total cost is estimated to be about $8.8 million although the final construction bids may reduce that amount.
Using a variety of innovative financing options, the Mayor expressed confidence, as he has said repeatedly, that there will be no impact on resident’s property tax rates. To those concerned about Fairview’s debt, the Mayor pointed out that because of the recent and concentrated expansion of the town’s facilities, such as Fairview Town Center, several new hotels and high-rise residences, the town is obligated to provide essential infrastructure and that has driven debt higher. Once the initial construction phases for all facilities, including several new additions that have not yet been announced, the debt will begin to recede. “It’s inaccurate to compare Fairview’s debt with the lower debt of some surrounding cities that have not experienced the same kind of growth. It’s like comparing apples and ducks”, he stated.
Fairview’s bond rating remains high at AA+ and in answer to a question the Mayor offered, “There are no other major projects in our plan. Much of the town’s spending in the next several years will be things like replacing rapidly deteriorating water lines, such as one that ruptured in the Autumn and impacted water service to large sections of town. Certainly, no plans that rise to the level of the need to replace Fire Station No. 1.”
Fairview’s tax rate is currently 0.349709. A full-service town, like Fairview, is one that provides full-time professional fire and police departments as well as other services; not something all towns in the county are able to provide. For comparison, other full-service town’s tax rates are McKinney 0.525170; Prosper 0.52000; Melissa 0.609541; and Princeton 0.688820.