Only a handful of people spoke at a public hearing Monday about Mesa’s plan to spend more than $400 million in the next few years. The city is planning to present two bond proposals on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The first proposal would seek authorization to pay $230.5 million for 46 street projects.
Most of the projects would widen roads, while others would improve technology and underground infrastructure.
The second question asks voters to pay for 16 public safety projects costing $172.4 million.
Mesa wants to use the money to upgrade its radio systems, expand facilities, replace fire and police stations, add an arraignment center and purchase land for future stations.
Monday’s public meeting attracted four speakers. Of those, three said they supported the city’s plans.
“We thought there would be a few more there giving some comment,” said city spokeswoman Heather Gray. “It ended pretty quick. I was surprised.”
Monday’s was the last public hearing scheduled for the bond projects, but the city is planning to hold more community meetings with residents, she said.
None of the proposed projects would start until July 2009.
Ed Field, who lives in a neighborhood serviced by the Dobson Ranch police station, said he intends to vote in favor of the bond package.
“The police have made tremendous improvements in our neighborhood,” he said. “I think it’s something you can sell to the public.”
West Mesa resident Nate Caine questioned the wisdom of approving a plan that would have limited benefit to his neighborhood, pointing out the street project planned near Dobson and Guadalupe roads.
“Why would I pay $400 million to get one project we basically don’t want to be done in the first place?” he asked.
City Manager Chris Brady reminded everyone that many of the bond projects — such as a new arraignment center and improved communication — would have citywide impact.
“You’re not getting the full picture” by only looking at the transportation projects, he said.
Costs to property owners
Estimated annual cost to property owners if the bonds pass:
•$100,000 residence would be $37.38 per year
•$250,000 residence would be $93.45 per year
•$2.5 million commercial or industrial property would be $2,149.29 per year