Fredericksburg voters deny bond issue for sports complex

224

The City of Fredericksburg held their citywide election on Saturday. Voters elected two council members who ran unopposed — Bobby Watson and Gary R. Neffendorf. Voters also turned down a proposed $6.1 million bond issue for a sports complex. The issue was defeated by merely 35 votes. This was the second time voters denied the project.

Unofficial results as posted on the City of Fredericksburg website on May 4, 2019.

Approximately 1,100 voters cast a ballot in this election, which represents a small percentage of the 10,530 residents in that city.

This election is notable to Kerrville voters if only to compare various funding methods that the two cities have or haven’t employed to provide economic development funds for things such as a sports complex. Whereas Kerrville employs 4B Sales Tax funding to support economic development and oversees approximately $3-4 million per year for such efforts, the City of Fredericksburg does NOT employ 4B Sales Tax funding, and therefore had to consider a bond issue for their proposed sports development. In Kerrville, a bond election was not required because 4B sales tax funds were used to finance the project — not general revenue or tax revenue.

Kerrville’s Economic Improvement Corporation, or EIC, contributed $9 million in funding for our local sports complex, and the City of Kerrville delivered an additional $2 million for the construction of the indoor baseball facility and office.

Fredericksburg’s sports complex was initially put to voters in November 2017 and failed. Proponents came back with a new plan for 2019 that cut costs from $12 million to $6 million. County Commissioners in Gillespie County committed the county to supporting the project with $2.3 million. Taxes would have increased for city residents as seen below.

On Saturday, voters rejected this new plan by a margin of just 52% to 48%.

Last year, Kerrville United discussed several sports complex proposals around the area. All have been defeated.

Takeaways

  • Without a 4B sales tax option, Fredericksburg does not have a revenue source committed to economic development projects.
  • Voters turned down the $6 million sports complex proposal with a margin of only 35 votes
  • This is the second time voters denied the project.