A $260.6 million bond package to improve Mesa’s water pipes and other infrastructure appeared well on its way to victory Tuesday night. Mesa voters were asked to approve four utility bond issues to upgrade the city’s water, wastewater, gas and electric systems.
The bonds will be issued to pay for expanding the city’s utility systems in growing areas and modernize the older infrastructure.
Many of the city’s utility lines in western portions of Mesa are decades old. For years, the city has dealt with its utility infrastructure in a reactive mode, replacing things as they break instead of planning ahead.
The bonds will pay for more than 100 projects, including an $11 million water project at Arizona State University Polytechnic on the east side.
Vice Mayor Claudia Walters said she was encouraged by early results Tuesday night and that the numbers appeared “strong.”
“The residents of Mesa have a history of understanding how critical the core infrastructure is to the city,” she said.
The bond election comes just months after a controversial property tax election divided and angered city residents, who defeated it. But this bond election has been much quieter, with vocal opposition coming only from the Valley Business Owners and Concerned Citizens, a fiscally conservative private nonprofit that also fought the property tax.
VBO President David Molina said he will be disappointed if the bonds lose, but it will not deter the group from future campaigns and missions.
“At the end of the day, we respect the voters’ decisions,” Molina said.