Discussion on potential 2019 bond begins in Williamson County Commissioners Court

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Williamson County commissioners agreed to move forward with discussions of a 2019 roads and parks bond July 16.

County Judge Bill Gravell asked commissioners to select two to three priority roads and parks projects within their precincts that they believe the court should consider in a possible bond election in November.

In June, a nine-member Williamson County Citizens Bond Committee recommended $573.3 million in roads and $67.6 million in parks projects to be considered for a 2019 bond. The amount was pared down from $2.7 billion in requests that came from cities, school districts and municipal utility districts within the county.

Gravell said he is looking to cap the bond at $410 million for roads and $40 million for parks.

“What I care about [is] can we go out for more debt, not raise our tax rate and continue the habit [the court] has created in the past on paying down debt,” Gravell said.

County Financial Advisor Dan Wegmiller said the proposed amount will not raise the tax rate and will allow the county to pay off debt.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said she would prioritize projects where cities have committed to matching the county at least some portion of the cost to help complete the projects.

“One of the things that has allowed us to get more done was partnering with our cities,” Long said. “In my mind, the projects that make it to the top of the list are the ones where those cities are partnering with us.”

During the discussion, the court received a financial update on the county’s credit and bond rating. Williamson County has a AAA bond rating due to strong financial performance, a strong economy and prior projects being managed better than budgeted, Wegmiller said.

“From this standpoint I think the credit rating is in a very good position and will continue to be in a good position as you manage these decisions on capital and bond elections,” Wegmiller said. “You are in a great position from a financial standpoint.”

The court also discussed how it would like to pay down about $25 million in prior debt and how doing so would save county taxpayers $7 million to $8 million in interest, Wegmiller predicted.

The court will continue to discuss the potential bond during its regular meetings through the month of July. It will vote on whether to call a bond election Aug. 6.

Here is a list of recommended projects by the bond committee:

Precinct 1—committee recommended $77.02 million

  • Anderson Mill Road extension – $4.2 million
  • Forest North drainage improvements – $5.5 million
  • Parmer Lane at Hwy. 45 interchange – $7.3 million
  • Pond Springs drainage improvements – $4.4 million
  • RM 620 extension – $2.2 million
  • Sam Bass Road – $27.5 million
  • Wyoming Springs extension – $10 million
  • Wyoming Springs extension – $10.9 million
  • Wyoming Springs intersection improvements – $3 million (safety bucket)
  • Round Rock West flood control – $5 million

Precinct 2—committee recommended $103.38 million

  • Bagdad Road at CR 279 – $9.5 million
  • Bagdad Road at CR 279 – $85,000 (right of way bucket)
  • Brushy Creek Road widening – $2.8 million
  • US 183 – $5 million (right of way bucket)
  • Corridor I – $6.6 million and $2.3 million (right of way bucket)
  • CR 214 extension – $2.3 million
  • Hero Way – $29.5 million
  • Kauffman Loop – $2 million
  • Liberty Hill bypass – $11 million and $2.2 million (right of way bucket)
  • Ronald Reagan Boulevard widening – $24.7 million
  • Toro Grande Boulevard extension – $10.74 million
  • Whitestone Boulevard widening – $4.06 million

Precinct 3—committee recommended $105.2 million

  • Bud Stockton extension – $6.2 million
  • Corridor E4 – $3.1 million and $1.7 million (right of way bucket)
  • Corridor E5 – $3 million and $1.6 million (right of way bucket)
  • Corridor I – $24 million
  • CR 110 North – $2.2 million
  • CR 175 – $1.7 million
  • CR 239 – $1.9 million
  • CR 332 realignment – $1.5 million
  • RM 2243 – $4 million and $10 million (right of way bucket)
  • S.E. Inner Loop extension – $22.5 million
  • Southwest Bypass extension – $4.8 million
  • Westinghouse and CR 111 – $20.2 million
  • CR 245 – $6.5 million
  • Ronald Reagan and Silver Spur Boulevard – $2 million (safety bucket)
  • Ronald Reagan at Sun City Boulevard – $1 million (safety bucket)
  • Hwy. 195 at Ronald Reagan – $3.6 million
  • CR 314 safety improvements – $1.5 million (safety bucket)
  • CR 314 widening – $3.7 million (safety bucket)

Precinct 4—committee recommended $206.48 million

  • Bartlett Street project – $500,000 (safety bucket)
  • Chandler Road – $3.9 million (right of way bucket)
  • Corridor E2 – $1 million
  • Corridor E3 – $1 million and $700,000 (right of way bucket)
  • Cottonwood Creek drainage improvements – $2 million
  • CR 112 widening – $17.5 million
  • CR 129 – $2.3 million (safety bucket)
  • CR 134 and CR 132 extensions – $14 million
  • CR 366 – $8.12 million
  • Davila Culvert replacement – $258,000 (safety bucket)
  • FM 3349 at Hwy. 79 – $42.61 million
  • MoKan – $19 million
  • Old Settlers Boulevard – $8.5 million
  • Ronald Reagan Boulevard extension – $2.8 million (right of way)
  • SH 130 northbound – $8 million
  • SH 130 southbound – $9 million
  • Southeast Corridor – $72.2 million

Countywide projects—committee recommended $81.25 million

  • Atlas 14 Federal Emergency Management Agency mapping – $1 million
  • Low-water crossing protection – $250,000
  • Right of way budget – $35 million
  • Operational safety improvements – $15 million
  • County road reconstruction – $30 million

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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