Glendale, Mesa and Tempe will ask voters to approve bonds in November

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Vote badges. (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Three metro Phoenix cities will ask voters in November to approve more than $630 million in bond requests to pay for future capital projects.

Early voting for the Nov. 3 general election starts on Oct. 7.

Bond proceeds are typically used to fund improvements to roads, parks, water and wastewater systems and other city infrastructure. The bond borrowing is typically paid off over time through secondary property taxes.

  • Glendale voters will decide on a $187.9 million bond request.
  • Mesa voters will decide on a $100 million transportation bond request.
  • Tempe voters will decide on a $349 million bond request.  

Some city leaders were initially concerned about referring a bond to voters in a time of economic uncertainty brought on by the new coronavirus pandemic. Gilbert opted to delay a $465 million funding request to improve traffic congestion and roadwork to 2021 because of the health crisis.

Officials in Glendale, Mesa and Tempe pressed forward. 

“We know that during downturns we all are afraid to move forward sometimes, and it feels tone deaf to be talking about increasing bond indebtedness when unemployment and economic indicators are horrible,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in May as the council weighed the bond issue.

However, he noted that the city can decide when it’s the right time to borrow for projects once voters approve bonds.

“Proceeding forward with the election gives us options,” he said. 

Here’s a look at how the money will be used.

Glendale

Glendale’s $187.9 million bond request, dubbed “Glendale Bond 2020,” will be broken into four questions, that voters can approve or reject, based on the type of project.

The first bond question would dedicate $87.2 million to projects in Glendale parks, including improvements at Heroes Regional Park, a splash pad at O’Neil Park