Nash: Hays bonds mean better roads, safer community, no tax hike

Hays County’s population has doubled in just 15 years, from 100,000 to 200,000 residents. Fast growth puts great strain on essential county functions, like roads and emergency services, and threatens the safety and quality of life of every Hays County family.

That’s why our county leaders developed Propositions 1 and 2 on this fall’s general election ballot. These propositions present a thoughtful and responsible plan to protect Hays County’s public safety and quality of life as we grow, and they will not require any increase in the tax rate.

Proposition 1 is a $106.4 million public safety facilities bond that addresses three critical needs for Hays County’s first responders and law enforcement.

It will replace our outdated 911 dispatch center, which lacks capacity for our surging population, leading to dangerous communication gaps in our 911 system. It will also expand our law enforcement center with space for new officers, an officer training center and crime labs to process evidence faster for investigations and prevent backlogs in our courts.

Proposition 1 will also fix overcrowding at the county jail. Our current jail was built in the late 1980s, when Hays County was one-third our current size. Today, the jail is over capacity, which forces the county to house inmates elsewhere at great expense to taxpayers and takes officers off our streets to transport them. Proposition 1 will solve this problem and give our first responders and officers the tools they need to keep us safe.

Proposition 2 funds a comprehensive plan to address critical road improvements, including $98.9 million for safety upgrades to roads throughout Hays County and increased capacity for our most traveled and congested roads. In the Buda/Kyle area, for example, two new schools have opened on a crowded two-lane road, and a new high school will soon be built on another. In the Dripping Springs area, fatal accidents along Highway 290 are far too common. In San Marcos, traffic congestion is a growing problem, and major roads in the Wimberley Valley require thoughtful safety improvements that also preserve the area’s rural charm.

Proposition 2 will also provide $22.5 million for low water crossing and drainage improvements, which will improve emergency access during floods and also address pedestrian, bike and conservation needs. Finally, $10 million will address small-scale safety improvements, such as intersection improvements.

Over the past 10 years, Hays County has kept a watchful eye on its budget, paid off bonds early and refinanced bonds at historically low interest rates. Thanks to good planning and financial management, the county’s 2008 bond funds brought more than twice their value in road improvements. Hays County also received a stellar AA bond rating and recently reduced its tax rate with the biggest cut in 10 years.

As a local community, it is our responsibility to prepare for the future and protect our citizens’ safety and quality of life. With their proven track record, we can trust Hays County’s leaders to implement Propositions 1 and 2 on time, on budget and while also maintaining the county’s lowest tax rate in a decade.

Nash is a Hays County business owner and resident, and treasurer of the Committee for Better Roads and a Safer Community.

Reader Comments

Next Up in News

Taylor Swift sings Calvin Harris' 'This Is What You Came For' at her only concert of 2016
Taylor Swift sings Calvin Harris' 'This Is What You Came For' at her only concert of 2016
Taylor Swift, 26, took the stage at the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin, Texas, on Saturday night to perform a song she’s never sung...
WATCH: Pentatonix stuns with new cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'
WATCH: Pentatonix stuns with new cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'
Pentatonix has done it again. The a cappella group came together to sing a stunning rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.
Iceland braces for a Pirate Party takeover
Iceland braces for a Pirate Party takeover
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND — The party that could be on the cusp of winning Iceland's national elections on Saturday didn't exist four years ago.
Red blood, blue blood: How do we begin to heal after Clinton vs. Trump?
   How is America ever going to begin to heal after this divisive election?Every presidential contest leaves scars, especially as the...
West Africa is being swallowed by the sea
West Africa is being swallowed by the sea
FUVEMEH, Ghana — The tide is just starting to come in when David Buabasah begins nervously checking the waters creeping up the coastline toward...
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on