Following nearly two hours of public comment and discussion from Hutto City Council, roughly $325,000 for a reconstruction project on Live Oak Street was approved by city officials.

Live Oak, situated north of Hwy. 79 between West Street and Park Avenue, has uneven pavement and cuts in the road from past utility work.

When first planned, the project was designed to include sidewalks, a curb, a gutter and a storm drain system along the entire street.

However, as part of an amendment during a June 17 City Council meeting, staff proposed a mill and overlay of the road, not a full reconstruction.

Residents who live on Live Oak, as well as other Old Town Hutto residents, spoke before council and advocated for a commitment to stick with the original plan, citing concerns with parking, pedestrian safety and general city appearance.

Executive Director of Operations Tony Host said due to supply cost increases, the full plan is estimated to cost about $4 million, an increase from about $3 million—which was originally budgeted as part of a $70 million 2018 street and drainage bond.

The city has roughly $3.37 million remaining from the 2018 bond set aside for street and drainage costs, which must be divided among other projects underway along FM 1660.

The main bid for the mill and overlay is just under $173,000 and will be covered by the city’s general fund. An alternate for adding a water line is estimated to be around $98,000 and funded by the utility fund. A contingency of around $54,000 is included in the total project funding and will also be covered by the general fund. Atmos Energy will cover the costs of moving gas lines.

Hutto officials expressed concern over spending money to mill and overlay the road, which would have to be torn out to complete the original reconstruction plan.

In the end, council approved a motion to fund the project so Atmos Energy can start moving the gas lines and connecting water lines.

The approved motion includes a termination for convenience clause in the contract, which will allow council to review funding later this year and assess if the full project can be done instead of patching over the road.