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Omaha voters will consider $260.3 million in bonds on election day

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Voters headed to the polls Tuesday will determine the fate of $260.3 million in general obligation bonds.

The bonds, sent to the ballot by the Omaha City Council in February, would pay for projects in the city’s 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Plan, such as streets, fire stations, parks and other city facilities.

Transportation projects will account for a majority of the new bonds. Nearly $200 million would be used to construct, widen and improve streets, bridges, expressways and freeway segments and for other projects.

That amount includes $120 million in special street preservation bonds, continuing the city’s program of additional street improvements that voters first approved in 2020.

The bond proposals on the ballot Tuesday will appear as six separate questions.

City officials say the spending would not require a property tax increase beyond what voters have already approved. That’s partly because voters already authorized higher taxes to fund street improvements, although the city hasn’t yet used that taxing authority.

In the 2020 bond issue, voters approved borrowing $200 million to launch the special Pavement Maintenance Program and pay for the first five years of work. Projections at the time said the extra spending could require a tax hike of $26 to $35 a year on a house valued at $100,000 for tax purposes.

Of that initial $200 million, the city says, approximately $120 million will be spent by the end of 2022 on extra street repair projects, generally concrete replacement and asphalt resurfacing. The additional money in Tuesday’s bond issue would keep the extra work going until 2030.

Besides all the street work, voters are being asked to approve $15.1 million to improve Omaha’s public facilities including police buildings, fire stations, library branches and park structures.

Other bond proposals would earmark $15.4 million for parks, $24.1 million for sewers and $6.1 million for the Fire Department.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Omaha voters can check the location of their polling place at votedouglascounty.com.

jwade@owh.com, 402-444-1067

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Jessica Wade covers breaking news, crime and the Omaha zoo. Follow her on Twitter @Jess_Wade_OWH. Phone: 402-444-1067

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Omaha voters on Tuesday approved $260.3 million in bonds to pay for projects in the city’s 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Plan, such as streets, fire stations, parks and other city facilities.

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