Draft of top capital improvement projects discussed at West Lake Hills City Council; potential bond could be next May


A draft of proposed capital improvement projects for inclusion in a possible future bond election was presented to the West Lake Hills City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

Criteria for ranking and prioritizing the 13 proposed projects was also presented in draft form.

“This is very preliminary,” Mayor Linda Anthony said. “The main reason it’s on the agenda is to bring the topic back up in public and start the discussion.”

Anthony said last time it was discussed, council identified the need to combine road and drainage improvements into one big project. She said the list presented at Tuesday’s meeting was the engineering firm’s first attempt at combining drainage and pavement improvement projects.

Vicki Ortega, an engineer with K. Friese—a firm the city contracts with—spoke at the meeting about the ranking system.

“We looked at the top projects in the city’s drainage master plan and the pavement plan,” Ortega said. “There was quite a bit of overlap regarding streets with both major drainage and pavement issues.”

The firm created six criteria categories and then gave each project a score of 0 to 3 in each category.

“The higher the score, the higher the priority of the project,” Ortega said. “The risk to public safety is the biggest concern and had the most weight.”

The draft of ranking categories included:

Risk to public safety: 30%
Potential damage to infrastructure: 15%
Recurring maintenance: 15%
Citizen input/complaints: 15%
Timing/location: 15%
Project type (street or drainage repair, or both): 10%

The draft of the top projects and estimated total cost, in order of total highest score, meaning highest priority, included:

Camp Craft Road: $2.19 million
Redbud Trail: $3.49 million
Westlake Drive: $1.7 million
Laurel Valley Road: $2.12 million
Terrace Mountain Drive: $764,490
Spurlock Valley Road: $172,625
Yaupon Valley Road: $1.13 million
Old Bee Cave Road: $123,480
Harbor View: $219,065
Little Bend Road: $130,770
Rocky River Road: $163,690
Wren Valley Cove: $108,470
Kennan Road: $121,540

The total estimated cost for all projects is $12.49 million.

It’s no longer realistic to consider a November bond, according to Anthony.

“We still haven’t hired architects to give us solid bids and estimates,” she said, adding that City Council would most likely consider firms for that purpose at the next meeting. “It also doesn’t give us time to get into good community discussion.”

Anthony said it’s looking like the possible bond election would be in May 2019, though she was hoping to have it in November because of historically good turnout in a general election.

She said she envisions items pertaining to the potential bond appearing on agendas regularly later this spring and into the summer.

Anthony said she also imagines a citizens’ advisory committee and a bond campaign committee that would function separately from the city, as well as town hall meetings that would focus entirely on the bond.

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Sally Grace Holtgrieve
Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She has been covering the Lake Travis/Westlake area for Community Impact since February 2018.
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