As Prosper residents cast votes for the presidential election on Nov. 3, they will also have to decide on whether to approve a bond meant to address town growth.
“We do it right in Prosper … transparency and put the spotlight on us,” said City Council Member Craig Andres of the Prosper bond election date, in the wake of the town creating a bond committee at its Feb. 25 meeting.
The bond is not to exceed $210 million, with a potential $30 million for public safety, $30 million for parks and recreation and $150 million for roads, said town manager Harlan Jefferson.
Prosper needs increased resources and services, Andres said.
“The bond is a response to growth. It is a response to the needs of the community,” he said.
Growth is a critical component of living in Prosper, Andres said.
“These are addressing practical matters that we feel like are going to impact the lives of our citizens,” he said. “Getting kids to school, supporting the growth of the schools.”
Andres said the city has to focus on finding ways to support Prosper Independent School District, which last year passed its bond for more than $1.3 billion.
“The growth of the ISD is really paramount to the success and viability of all the things we do,” he said. “It’s not the only thing, but it’s the big thing.”
Making sure Prosper has enough infrastructure to support school district growth is necessary for residential stability, Andres said.
“It does you no good to open up fantastic schools when you don’t have the proper infrastructure to support those schools,” he said.
A growing town also means a growth in services, Andres said.
“Growth impacts everything. It’s not just your roads, it’s your safety, your fire, your police. You don’t just have growth and it just impacts one aspect of your community - it hits everything and it hits them all at the same time.”
When more growth means more infrastructure, it’s a cycle that has to be managed responsibly, Andres said.
“It’s a wonderful cycle to be in. A lot of people only see the problematic part of it, but at the end of the day, the cycle is a blessing in the long run,” he said. “There’s communities all over the country that would love to be in the position we’re in.”
Jefferson said the top priority is “making sure the current residents aren’t inconvenienced by the pace of growth around them.”
Keeping the infrastructure ahead of the development is vital, Jefferson said.
“The challenging process is acquiring land and relocating the utilities to construct a lot of the infrastructure. The rewarding part is providing relief for our residents,” he said.
Prosper Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame spoke briefly to Rotary Club attendees Feb. 27 about the importance of increased public services.
“We feel very hopeful that the bond election will pass, it normally does for public safety. But without it, we simply won’t be able to keep up,” he said.