What we reported: Although past discussions had taken place about replacing the West Lake Hills Police Department building, at a Sept. 13 meeting West Lake Hills City Council verbally decided it would be more effective to pursue improvements to the city’s municipal building simultaneously. Combining projects would allow the city to optimize the adjoining space and develop a site that could be used for the next 30-40 years, Mayor Linda Anthony said at the meeting.

City staff estimated a new police facility could cost close to $1.2 million, and administrative building renovations could be close to $500,000, she said.

Rollingwood City Council also met Sept. 13 and discussed the discovery of mold in its municipal building, which forced the police department to relocate into a trailer.

Although Rollingwood City Council had planned to budget about $300,000 for minor 2018 building improvements, council decided to instead explore a long-term solution, which could include constructing a new building, City Administrator Amber Lewis said.

The latest: West Lake Hills City Council took a step forward toward pursuing a bond in November for improvements to the city’s municipal and police building at its Dec. 13 meeting. Council approved the posting of two requests for qualifications for financial adviser services and architectural services related to a possible bond.

Vonda Ragsdale, West Lake Hills financial officer, said that when selected, a financial adviser will walk the city through the process of exploring financing a renovation project through a bond election. The architect will create a design for a new joint municipal and police facility on the current City Hall site.

Rollingwood City Council authorized Mayor Roxanne McKee on Dec. 20 to negotiate a contract with firm Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects Inc. to develop a facilities needs assessment and master plan for improvements.

What’s next? The requests for qualifications in West Lake Hills will remain open until Jan. 26. City Council will look at submissions in February and could select services later that month, according to City Manager Robert Wood. The city has until Aug. 21 to decide whether to call a bond election in November.
Rollingwood will wait for the completion of the study before determining further action.

This story is one update from Lake Travis-Westlake January Issue. View the full list of Top 5 stories to follow in 2018 here.