Feature Illustration (above): Concept rendering of the proposed Fire Station #2. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
by Adolfo Pesquera
New Braunfels (Comal County) — Voters in New Braunfels head to the polls Saturday to decide on four propositions totaling $120 million, with the lion’s share of bond proceeds going to road improvements, a new police station and a long anticipated sports complex.
Proposition 1 asks residents to approve more than $44.5 million for the reconstruction of Goodwin/Conrads Lane, Klein Road and other citywide street improvements. The bond would leverage an additional $8 million in roadway impact fees, providing the city access to more than $52.5 million for street improvements.
Proposition 2 (Parks and Recreation) would provide more than $16.5 million for enhancements to an existing park to convert it to Callen’s Castle All Abilities Park for the disabled ($500,000); and wall stabilization at Comal Cemetery ($5.26 million). The historic cemetery is in danger of catastrophic erosion due to a natural bluff that is being washed away by the Guadalupe River.
Finally, Prop 2 will provide for the Phase 1 construction of the new Sports Field Complex ($10.78 million). The Sports Field Complex has an estimated cost much closer to $25.8 million, but the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation is contributing $15 million toward its development.
Voters are perhaps most aware of the Sports Field Complex owing to the prolonged planning process. Voters approved $86 million in the 2013 bond election to buy 154 acres for a future sports complex. The acquisition of a tract at Klein Road and FM 1044 took place in 2017.
Concept rendering of the New Braunfels sports field complex. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
Since then, landscape designers and civil engineers worked on a feasibility study that has gone through numerous revisions and includes several phases.
The scope of Phase 1 construction includes concession facilities, restrooms, shade structures, a large surface parking lot, four soccer fields, four baseball fields, and four softball fields.
Proposition 3 (Public Safety) has a total price tag of about $50.4 million. The new police department facility has an estimated cost of $36.3 million, but this includes the cost of purchasing the land. A location for the police station is still to be determined. It will replace the existing facility and include office space for all divisions, a public space, training room, vehicle maintenance bays for the fleet, evidence storage, a gym and other space for miscellaneous uses.
Concept rendering of the proposed New Braunfels Police Department. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
The remainder of proceeds would go to build two replacement fire stations. The four-bay, $7.25 million Fire Station 2 would be built on city-owned land on Water Lane. A three-bay, $6.5 million station would be built at the same location as Fire Station 3 on Hanz Drive.
Proposition 4 is dedicated to a $5.5 million expansion of the Westside Community Center to include a new public library branch.