• August 27, 2014

Belton officials expect busy 2014

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Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013 4:30 am

BELTON — Having secured the necessary cash flow through the sale of bonds in 2013, Belton officials look ahead to a full year of capital improvement projects.

In August, the Belton City Council approved the sale of $6.8 million in certificates of obligation to fund projects in public safety, streets, sidewalks, and parks and recreation.

Some projects are under construction. More are in the design phase, and many of those should be completed next year.

“It’s going to be a busy year for our Public Works Department and our police,” city spokesman Paul Romer said.

In December, the council awarded a $297,035 contract to an architectural firm to design the city’s anticipated 10,000-square-foot expansion of its police-and-municipal courts building on Second Avenue, with construction possible next summer.

The estimated $2.5 million is only one project on the horizon.

A $1.7 million expansion of Sparta Road to create four lanes from Main Street to Loop 121 is in the engineering phase.

Plans include a new traffic light at Commerce Street, 10-foot-wide hike-and-bike trails on the north side of Sparta Road and two right-hand turn lanes at Loop 121.

The council is expected to review the designs in the first quarter of 2014, Romer said.

Other road projects in the design phase include an $800,000 expansion of Wheat Road for the opening of Chisholm Trail Elementary School next year.

City officials hope to complete the project by Aug. 1. An extension of new water lines to the school was completed this month, Romer said.

The city dedicated $1 million for new or upgraded roads, with streets selected after a citywide assessment, where each road will be given priority based on a variety of factors, such as amount of cracking, age of the concrete and ride quality.

The city already planned to make an addition to Avenue M to provide a connection of the street from Fairway to Highland drives.

Construction will fill in the gap between the two sections of Avenue M to provide access to Miller Heights Elementary School, Romer said.

“The goal is to have that done the first quarter of the year,” he said.

Sidewalks are another aspect of the city’s infrastructure plans in 2014, with $115,000 set aside in the city’s bond package plus another $145,000 from the city’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for North and South Main Street sidewalks.

Crews already completed one sidewalk addition, extending Avenue D walkways on the south side of the street from Marshal Drive to Mitchell Street. That project was completed Friday, Romer said.

Bond money is scheduled to fund four city park projects, including a fifth baseball field, park equipment and 50 new parking spaces at Heritage Park.

The $240,000 project includes a $75,000 contribution from the Belton Youth Baseball Association.

The goal is to have the baseball field completed “by opening day,” Romer said.

Other park projects without a timeline include: $25,000 for new equipment, picnic tables and benches at Yettie Polk Park, $50,000 for equipment, parking and a pavilion at Beal Park and $70,000 for equipment at a neighborhood park for South Belton Elementary School on land donated by the Belton Independent School District, Romer said.

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