Long went over Williamson County’s overall fiscal year 2019 budget, which is slightly over $364 million with approximately 31 percent going towards debt service on roads and buildings, 11 percent for the road and bridge fund and the rest for general purposes, according to Williamson County budget documents.
She noted the addition of 18 new sheriff's office employees, including eight new patrol officers. Four district attorney employees were added along with a child abuse attorney, which Long said was an “innovative” addition.
The debt service fund includes $20 million to pay debt off early, which Long said will ultimately save $15 million over the life of debt.
Long noted that the current property tax is five cents lower than when she started as the county commissioner 12 years ago.
“My goal since I’ve been on the Commissioner’s Court is to never go up to as high as the effective rate was, but to balance that out,” Long said, "and that’s what we’ve been able to do over the years.”
Long said the total market value for Williamson County in 2018 was at its highest with almost $80 billion in revenue.
Long reviewed the county’s road project progress over the last 18 years. Since 2001, 152 projects have been completed, including 514 total lane-miles constructed and 277 new capacity lane-miles, according to Tammy Smith, Long’s assistant.
Recently completed projects in Precinct 2 included Hero Way in Leander, CR 258 north of Liberty Hill, Little Elm Trail in Cedar Park and RM 1431 at Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Cedar Park, Long said during her address.
Moving forward, Long said the county will continue with in-progress projects like Bagdad Road in Leander, and Anderson Mill Road and New Hope Drive in Cedar Park.
She also said there could be a possible bond election in November for roads and parks.