WilCo moves forward with bond plan, discusses debt amount

Commissioners have set a bond plan in motion for building and facility needs that could reach as much as $70 million.

Commissioners began discussing the bonds in late February, and on March 24 approved a resolution to authorize certificates of obligation for needs listed in a Capital Improvement Project Plan.

"We brought this up several weeks ago. We've had public meetings in most precincts," Judge Dan Gattis said. "This will now start a 30-day-plus period for the public to make formal presentations, if they so desire, to us."

Certificates of obligation, unlike general obligation bonds, are issued without voter approval.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman said she would rather ask for voter approval of the bonds. However, no one else on the court supported her motion.

"The reason I wanted to go to general obligation bonds is our overall debt [is] over a billion dollars with what's already been approved by the voters," Birkman said. "Hays County actually had some issues with their bond rating because of their overall debt. We have the most debt of any county in the area, and before we go any more in debt, I would like the voters to have an opportunity to weigh in on that."

The proposed $70 million is the most the county could issue without affecting the debt service tax rate of $0.1675 per $100 of property valuation.

The county will authorize its final amount, which commissioners Valerie Covey and Cynthia Long said they hope to lower, at the May 5 Commissioners Court meeting.

"I'm going to vote for this only because it's the cap," Covey said. "I'm not sure that I'm going to vote for $70 million in 30 days."

According to the county's resolution for the certificates of obligation, funds will be used for constructing, improving and renovating facilities; purchasing necessary land; and equipping county buildings.

"With the way this is worded, if a year from now something pops up that we really need to get done, we can get it done," Gattis said. "I don't want to tie us down where we're just going to build a building and not have the ability to do [these other projects]."

According to the county's Capital Improvement Project Plan, improvements to the county's North Campus building at 3151 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown, include more than $20 million in proposed projects.

Carol Polumbo, the court's bond attorney, said the county has three years to issue the bonds and must approve each proposed project before work begins.

"... Under federal tax law, we need to have a reasonable expectation that we can spend the money in three years," she said. "It cannot be a project that we know is a four-year project."


Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.

Cedar Park has canceled its Fourth of July pop-up parades. (Courtesy Unsplash)
Cedar Park cancels Fourth of July pop-up parades

Cedar Park has canceled its Fourth of July neighborhood pop-up parades across the city.

Williamson County has now recorded 2,388 total COVID-19 cases, including 1,342 that are currently active. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County reports 49 additional confirmed coronavirus cases July 2

Currently, 107 patients are hospitalized and 32 are in intensive care, per the report.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

In the course of a month, the number of patients admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 has increased more than fivefold, according to Austin Public Health data. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Deluge of new COVID-19 cases forces Austin-area health officials to limit testing, shift tracing strategy

Fighting antiquated fax machines and a sharp rise in the demand for testing, officials said contact tracers are not able to get in touch with residents quickly enough to prevent the spread of the virus.

Leander mayor calls special council meeting July 7 after high volume of public comment requests

The one-item agenda includes an ordinance to extend the city's disaster declaration, which would expire July 8 without council action.

CommunityCare Health Centers drive-up coronavirus testing site
CommUnityCare will no longer test asymptomatic people for COVID-19 as testing demand swells

CommUnityCare Health Centers is now only testing individuals who show symptoms, those who have a known exposure to the coronavirus or those with other existing health conditions.

Daley Home + Design focuses on new home construction and furnishings, large renovations and furnishings and room updates. (Courtesy Kasey Van Daley)
Interior design business Daley Home + Design relocates to Cedar Park

Daley Home + Design moved from Georgetown to 3000 Polar Lane, Ste. 301, in Cedar Park in June.