Hill Country Village moved one step closer toward planning special fall elections where voters could approve two funding mechanisms to support construction of a new City Hall.

What happened

City Council voted July 20 to wait until their scheduled Aug. 17 meeting to formally place three measures on a Nov. 7 election ballot. One measure would ask voters to repurpose more than $2 million left over from the city’s 2019 street improvement bond to use on a planned City Hall remake.

A second measure would ask voters to repurpose undeveloped, city-owned property at Bitters Road and Tower Drive so that land sales proceeds could go toward the City Hall project.

A third ballot measure would ask voters to reauthorize a portion of Hill Country Village’s sales tax to fund street maintenance.

Council also approved a conceptual schematic for a new City Hall as presented by LPA Design Studios. Project designer Michelyn Smith said the concept site plan calls for city staff to temporarily relocate while the existing municipal facility is razed and a new, larger one is built in its place.

The conceptual schematic includes a new wider entrance to the City Hall campus next to the pond, more office, conference and storage space for city staff, and flexibility in the council chambers/lobby/courtroom area that could accommodate community events and group gatherings.

Smith said the new City Hall/police station/public works complex would measure 11,512 square feet total and cost an estimated $4.72 million.

What they’re saying

Smith said the schematic provides a general concept of a new, modern municipal complex, but is subject to change with input from council and residents.

“This is a schematic design. It’s not set in stone,” she said.

Council members voiced concern that the new price tag is higher than previous cost estimates and that the city must lock down a budget soon.

Local officials have discussed blending available funding sources, such as unspent money from the 2019 bond, and potential new money, such as proceeds from selling the city-owned Bitters Road tract.

"In terms of the schematic, I like it, but is there a way we can scale it down if we need it?” Council Member Greg Blasko said.

What’s next

Council’s July 20 vote shows general support for the current City Hall design pending changes that could result from budgetary constraints, local officials said.