Grayson County Commissioners moved one step closer to issuing $10 million in bonds Tuesday to help pay for nearly $170 million worth of infrastructure improvements.

Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the publication of notice of intention to issue combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation. The last time Grayson County issued bonds for anything, County Judge Bill Magers said, was in 1994 for the expansion of the Grayson County Jail.

Magers said the bond proposed Tuesday will pay for improvements to the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 82, as well as the four and a half mile gap from FM 1417 to Highway 82 (Texoma Parkway) that is not to interstate standards. He said it will also begin to address the FM 691 and FM 503 corridor in Denison.

“What we propose to do is cut the tax rate by 5 percent while increasing our infrastructure in Grayson County,” Magers said. “Specifically, we have a $20 million plan spread over three years beginning in 2019.”

Magers said the work planned follows the county thoroughfare plan, which has been approved by most of the cities in the county. He said the plan is to get ahead of the curve of the growth that is coming into the county by leveraging $169 million in projects from the Texas Department of Transportation for a $10 million investment by the county.

Grayson County Auditor Assistant Suzette Smith said the county is proposing a tax rate of 44.181 cents per $100 of taxable value for fiscal year 2019.

“This continues your trend of decreasing the tax rate for the past three fiscal years,” she said, explaining the rate started at 49.09 cents in 2016. “This proposed rate is the effective rate plus less than a cent for infrastructure.”

Smith said the county is required to publish the proposed rate and hold two public hearings on it. Those hearings will be during the regularly scheduled commissioners court meetings on Aug. 21 and Aug. 28.

In addition to announcing the tax rate and intent to issue bonds for the infrastructure work, commissioners also approved an agreement for financial advisory services with Estrada Hinojosa & Company relating to the bond sale and declared that those services were a professional service and exempt from competitive bid process.