San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


The San Marcos City Council formally called for a bond election to pay for police, fire and library facilities during a special meeting on Wednesday.

The packages, totaling $31.7 million, are projected to add an additional 8.37 cents per $100 in appraised value to the city’s tax property rate. The increase amounts to about $125.55 per year for an $150,000 home, roughly the average in San Marcos.

Voters will decide whether to approve two packages on their May 6 ballot:

Police, fire departments

Recommended tax rate increase of 5.3 cents per $100 of valuation to pay for a total of $17.2 million in capital improvements.

Police department renovations ($5.5 million): These renovations will make improvements to the existing 911 center, add security and perimeter fencing, make parking lot improvements, replace existing HVAC equipment and create new offices and functional improvements to the police station.

Holland Fire Station No. 2 relocation ($5.2 million): This project will relocate Fire Station No. 2 to a more efficient and effective site and replaces the substandard structure that the station has occupied for 63 years since its opening in 1954.

Highpointe Fire Station No. 8 construction ($4.5 million, ongoing operating costs $1.4 million): This contractually obligated fire station is being funded in part by the developer of the Highpointe community and will be located on the east side of Interstate 35, a section of the city that has needed additional fire resources for almost a decade. The project includes the purchase of a fire truck for the station and includes $1.4 million for personnel and station operating costs.

Fire training field ($2 million, ongoing operating costs $50,000): This facility will allow San Marcos Firefighters to conduct training including but not limited to residential and high rise live fire training, rope and trench rescue, confined space rescue, vehicle extrication, and fire, police, and EMS integrated response training. This type of training is not currently conducted because the nearest facility is in Buda and would take firefighters out of the city and unable to respond if needed.

San Marcos library

Recommended tax rate increase of 3.07 cents per $100 of valuation.

Library expansion ($14.5 million, ongoing operating costs $500,000): This project will expand the existing library by 29,000 square feet and renovate the existing facility, which was built in 1994 and served 373,334 people in the 2016 fiscal year.

Appointed by the council in October 2016, the Community Improvement Program Task Force also recommended a public services maintenance facility along with a new city hall to be constructed, paid for by issuing certificates of obligation and are not part of the proposed bond election.

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