Travis County $185 million bond Nov. election to address roads, safety

Commissioners debated the need for a groundwater conservation district in Southwest Travis County at a meeting on Feb. 20.

Commissioners debated the need for a groundwater conservation district in Southwest Travis County at a meeting on Feb. 20.

Commissioners OK $185M Travis County bond for Nov. to address roads, safetyTravis County commissioners called a $185 million bond election for Nov. 7 that focuses on road safety and park projects.


On. Aug 15, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion said the bond aims to fund “safe roads to school, evacuation roads, low water crossings—places where people have been killed.


“This is a health and safety bond,” he said.


County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Travis County tries to bring bonds before voters on a regular basis­—as opposed to large bonds spaced out timewise­—to smooth out the tax burden for the taxpayer, she said.


The bond will be in addition to other improvements totaling $94,955,309, including management fees, the court approved during an Aug. 8 meeting but do not require voter approval.


The combined annual tax bill impact of these measures tallies $36.34 annually for the average Travis County homestead valued at $305,173 for fiscal year 2018.


The bond will be funded over five years, and taxpayers will see the bond reflected in their bills beginning in fiscal year 2019.


The Travis County Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, tasked with determining potential projects for the bond, addressed the safety needs of Travis County’s unincorporated areas that are not within any city's limits, whittling a project list originally estimated at $1.1 billion down to $144 million, advisory committee Chairman Ron Wattinger said. The committee acknowledged Precinct 4, in the southeastern portion of the county, has been historically underserved with respect to infrastructure investment and gave it the lion’s share of the proposed bond funding, he said.


“There is a large investment on the eastern side of the county with respect to transportation projects,” Vice Chairman John Langmore said. “I think [the funding allocation to Precinct 4] was based on what people of eastern Travis County had to say. We also toured eastern Travis County extensively and saw great needs that exist out there and felt that it was time to make some changes that maybe should have been made a while back.”


Most of the projects will “happen east of I-35,” Eckhardt said, adding that she hopes to duplicate the process used to arrive at the approved 2017 bond package again in four years.


In November, taxpayers will vote not only on the county bond but also on possible school district bond proposals that may increase the tax burden of some of its residents, including a proposed Austin ISD $1.05 billion bond and a Leander ISD proposed $454 million bond. Cedar Park is also considering a city charter amendment election in November.


Luz Moreno-Lozano contributed to this article.



MOST RECENT

VIDEO: Texas Tribune interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar about the coronavirus's effects on the state economy

At 8 a.m. April 7, The Texas Tribune will host a live interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, conducted by Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus update: There are now more than 500 confirmed cases in Travis County, Austin

This post will include updates from Travis County and the city of Austin for the week of April 6, including daily case counts. For local updates from March 30-April 5, please click here.

The Texas Workforce Commission's phone and online systems to accept applications for unemployment benefits have been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of Texans who are out of work and looking for assistance. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Texas Workforce Commission overwhelmed by surging unemployment claims, Central Texas residents try to hang on

The Texas Workforce Commission received 1.7 million calls from individuals seeking assistance with unemployment benefits in a 24-hour period on March 26.

Yaghi's New York Pizzeria (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
LIVE UPDATES: Learn which Cedar Park and Leander restaurants are offering curbside, delivery and takeout services

Learn how area restaurants are adapting to restrictions that closed dine-in services.

Cedar Park City Council will consider an agreement with the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce to provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance to each eligible small business. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cedar Park City Council to consider small-business assistance program April 9

Cedar Park City Council will consider an agreement with the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce to provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance to each eligible small business.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Survey finds Texas brewers losing more than 70% of revenue because of coronavirus

Brewers across the state are renewing calls for Gov. Greg Abbott to grant temporary waivers for shipping, delivery and tax relief.

A graphic mask-makign tutorial
Austin-Travis County health official answers cloth mask questions

As Austin and Travis County authorities recommend cloth masks in public, they emphasize the importance of continuing to maintain social distancing measures.

(Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
April 6: 8 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers need to know

Catch up on some of the latest coronavirus updates for the Austin metro below.

Williamson County receives 1,000 test kits from a Georgia laboratory. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County receives 1,000 test kits from Georgia laboratory

County Judge Bill Gravell said the county is prioritizing tests for first responders and older adults.

After the regularly scheduled April 2 City Council meeting was canceled due to technical difficulties, Leander City Council has scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. April 8. (Community Impact Staff)
Leander City Council schedules teleconference meeting for April 8

After the regularly scheduled April 2 City Council meeting was canceled due to technical difficulties, Leander City Council has scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. April 8.

Lexi Vasquez stops for a photo during a training session at Austin Ninjas in Cedar Park. (Courtesy Jennifer Halla)
Leander girl to appear on 'American Ninja Warrior Junior' TV show

A 12-year-old Leander girl will appear on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior Junior” at 7 p.m. April 24

Williamson County is moving to a virtual platform for Commissioners Court.  (Ali Linan/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County moves to virtual platform for Commissioners Court

Public comment will still take place at the courthouse; however, commissioners will attend virtually.