Bee Cave holds workshop to discuss current and future city projects

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Adjusting major roads for traffic relief, beautifying Bee Cave Central Park and a $6.8 million police department building—these were among the top-tier topics Bee Cave City Council discussed during a special workshop at City Hall.

The purpose of the June 26 special workshop was to discuss current and future city projects and priorities for 2019-20 strategic planning purposes, including short- and long-term budgets for all operational needs and capital improvement projects, according to city information.

City Manager Clint Garza led the discussion and said one of his primary objectives was to glean guidance from council on upcoming goals.

“We know trails are a priority—to get the ones we have planned completed,” Mayor Monty Parker said, adding another priority is solidifying a $2.5 million bond for money pledged by the city to help the Texas Department of Transportation with the massive RM 620 widening project that will take place throughout the Lake Travis area over the next several years.

Parker also discussed transportation projects, including an arterial road that could help reduce local state road congestion and a potential $12 million upgrade to Hamilton Pool Road between Hwy. 71 and RM 12.

Pertaining to mobility funding, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Goodwin asked council what it thought about continuing to give money to TxDOT to help expedite projects in the city.

“I worry myself that they may become dependent on that money,” Goodwin said. Council did not come to a full philosophical consensus on Goodwin’s question but did appear to agree it was a topic worth continued consideration.

Council Member Andrea Willott said the situation resembled a kind of Catch-22, whereby providing money to TxDOT at times helped usher transportation projects to completion but at the same time created an expectation of future contribution.

Other discussions on local transportation projects included the restructuring of Hamilton Pool Road as it pertains to relieving traffic in the area near Bee Cave Elementary School.

“If you can get the elementary school traffic off of that main elementary school road, that’s fantastic,” Director of Planning and Development Lindsey Oskoui said.

Council Member Kara King brought up city amenities and the beautification of Bee Cave Central Park, among other aesthetic upgrades.

“[I would like to see] things that will bring families to the park and offer an improved lifestyle for our residents, for as well as our city is doing economically,” King said.

During the workshop, council also discussed facilities planning, including a potential expansion of the Bee Cave Public Library and the possibility of placing a smaller version of city hall within the Spanish Oaks development south of Hwy. 71. Garza added that project would be several years away if pursued.

A planned new Bee Cave Police Department building was another major facilities topic, and Garza said the estimated cost of construction for a two-story, 17,000-square-foot facility that could replace the existing building on Hwy. 71 rounds to about $6.8 million.

“We’d have to move the [police department] out, do the demolition and rebuild and then move them back in,” Garza said.

Council also discussed plans for the low-water crossing on Great Divide Drive, and Garza said plans are in place to move forward with the project. Contextually, that discussion harks back to an ongoing interlocal agreement between Bee Cave and Travis County that will have large implications on two local road projects.

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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