While most of the chatter over Austin’s November bond election has revolved around urban rail and medical schools, those aren’t the only potential items on the ballot. In fact, they’re only a fraction of them.
We got a reminder of that this week when city departments presented a “needs assessment” to the Bond Election Advisory Task Force, a citizen task force created to recommend what makes it onto the ballot.
What is a needs assessment? Essentially, it’s a wish list from city departments outlining projects and initiatives they would like to undertake. The proposals are then weighted by need and urgency, and also compared against a set of values (cost-effectiveness, geographic balance, environmental protection, and more). Omnibus projects like rail or a med school would be considered separately from these departmental proposals.
While there’s no guarantee any of the below projects will make it before voters in their present form, the list offers a revealing look at how city departments rank their priorities. So what’s on this massive, $1,500,000,000 wish list? We break it down below, highlighting the biggest proposals in each department: