Williamson County Commissioners Court approved projects and budgets in the 2018-23 capital improvement program on Sept. 20, allocating about $17.5 million out of the $17.8 million set aside in the fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

Big-ticket items included allocating $4 million toward information technology services, $1.6 million to move the M42 Taylor Ambulance Station out of the flood plain and more than $3.5 million for regional parks in the county.

“These dollars we're talking about today are from our Capital Improvements Plan budget from the general fund,” Commissioner Precinct 3 Valerie Covey said.

The court debated on the amount to allocate for technology services. It ultimately set aside $4 million “to fund an upgrade or replacement of our current dispatch and law enforcement records management system software,” Director of Public Safety Technology Richard Semple said. “The county will be working with a consultant to help determine needs and write requirements for these systems.”

The commissioners and County Judge Bill Gravell decided to fund moving the fire station, 1427 N. Main Street, Taylor, to a new location, 211 W. 6th Street, Taylor, about 1.5 miles away.

“The Taylor station on Main is antiquated and needs replacement,” Commissioner Precinct 4 Russ Boles said.

The station’s coverage includes rural areas of eastern Williamson County and could not be moved farther away, Senior Director of Facilities Management Dale Butler said. The new location will be made ground up on land owned by Williamson County. The location is within the city of Taylor. The new station will also have two bays or spots for ambulances.

“The two bays will carry us for quite a few years,” Gravell said.

Williamson County park improvements include repairs in the meter track and in a restroom building, adding more lighting in the softball, tennis and basketball fields, and converting grass to synthetic turf in the softball field.

Other projects that were approved were facility enhancements: gym and jail improvements to gut and improve facilities for improved air quality and air conditioning.

All prices quoted on the budget are estimates developed by the departments that require the improvements and vetted by Williamson County’s budget office and the facilities department. The Commissioners Court reviews and makes recommendations on what the priorities are.

“We hope we're in the ballpark with those, but especially in today's market, it's hard to estimate; prices continue to go up; material continues to be hard to get; [there is] long lead times on things that we ordered; windows and door frames have become a real issue,” Butler said.