Voters in Amarillo are likely to see another bond election soon, with officials proposing $279 million in new taxpayer-supported debt for the Amarillo Civic Center Complex.

On Wednesday, the City of Amarillo unveiled the proposal, which includes plans for renovations to the existing facility as well as additional projects in the same area. City officials say the $319 million project will include a relocation of Amarillo City Hall, establishment of a central park, renovation of the historic Santa Fe Depot, creation of a 10,000-seat arena, and construction of a new parking structure.

The lion’s share of the money from the proposal would go toward the creation of a new arena, with officials estimating the price tag of this project alone to be in the neighborhood of $155 million.

All of the debt will have to be repaid, with interest, by the city’s property taxpayers. Officials estimate the tax increase for a $100,000 home will be $150 per year.

This will mark the second time in three years voters decide the fate of a bond for the civic center. In November 2016, voters rejected an $83 million civic center bond proposal, which also included certain projects slated for the upcoming $279 million bond.

According to information released by the city, officials are hopeful that, if approved, the bond issue would attract roughly 85 additional events to Amarillo each year.

Public forums on the bond are planned for September 14, 19, and 21, each at the Amarillo Civic Center. The bond is expected to be placed on the ballot in May 2020.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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