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McAllen voters OK $25 million bond

McAllen voters opted in favor of $22 million toward drainage upgrades and $3 million for traffic improvements on Saturday as the city’s two-proposition bond election passed by a comfortable margin.

City officials were disappointed by the turnout on election day, despite their efforts hosting town halls and meeting with private groups to present information about the two propositions, one of which was for drainage improvements and the other for traffic improvements.

The $22 million for drainage will go toward 23 improvement projects throughout McAllen as part of the city’s $46 million master plan.

The second proposition will steer $3 million for traffic control improvements, including traffic signal synchronization, hardware, fiber, and new equipment.

“We need to make sure citizens are engaged,” Mayor Jim Darling said at Monday’s commission meeting.

Commissioner Joaquin “J.J.” Zamora had similar thoughts about the turnout.

“Two percent, it’s a little disappointing in terms of voter participation,” Zamora said. “I really don’t think the problem is voter registration. I really do think it’s about them being active. And as much as we have an obligation to have an informed citizenry, I think the citizens of McAllen also have an obligation to keep themselves informed.”

Unofficially, there were 977 votes cast in favor of drainage improvements compared to 729 against. For the traffic improvements, 1,024 votes were cast in favor compared to 680 opposed.

The second proposition will steer $3 million for traffic control improvements, including traffic signal synchronization, hardware, fiber and new equipment to help reduce accidents. In respect to the drainage item, Rodriguez said the city has begun the request for quotation process where the city will eventually hire a group of engineers to do the design work for the various drainage projects associated with the proposition.

Work on the two projects will begin Sunday, according to City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez. He said he was especially proud of “my community, my city commission and most importantly of my staff.”

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