Austin Community College leaders are roughly a month away from unveiling a decision... with some indications the number will climb well above $300 million.
ACC president: Case for community college, city bonds compelling
By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz
Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, doesn't seem overly concerned about the potential for voter fatigue when it comes to ponying up higher property taxes. Even if ACC and the City of Austin both ask voters in November to approve hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds.
Education and transportation are "strong needs in our community," Rhodes told American-Statesman editors and reporters Tuesday.
An advisory panel has recommended that ACC request voter approval for $475 million in bonds for construction and renovation projects. It's looking like the City of Austin will ask voters to authorize bonds for about half of the estimated $1.4 billion cost of building a light rail line from Highland Mall -- which ACC is remodeling into a campus -- south through the University of Texas, downtown, across Lady Bird Lake and then southeast to East Riverside Drive and Grove Drive.
Austin voters, who are also in ACC's taxing district, would be voting on both items.
"I think everybody worries about success or failure whether they're together or separate," Rhodes said. "It's not an either-or. It should be a question of 'and.' Neither of us can afford to wait."
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