Returning money from two pass-through financing projects may enable the city of Killeen to pay for the $8 million Trimmier Road widening project, the Killeen City Council learned Tuesday.
Over the next 20 years, the city is expected to receive $33 million in funds it placed up-front to pay for the State Highway 195 Overpass and Rosewood Extension projects from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Next week the council will vote on whether to fund the $774,000 design of the Trimmier Road widening project, through excess funds available in the city’s fund balance.
The proposed project would add a middle turn lane to the current five-lane stretch of Trimmier between Bank of America and U.S. Highway 190, and create a new marginal access road parallel to Lowes Boulevard.
The council has considered the project timely because of the potential logistical savings from contractors already on location for the $55 million U.S. Highway 190 expansion project, which will widen a small portion of Trimmier.
After expressing anxiety over extending the city’s debt at previous meetings, Mayor Dan Corbin was reassured by Tuesday’s update on the city’s future debt capacity from the city’s financial adviser, which was better than expected.
“So the debt service wouldn’t affect our budget until 2015 when that pass-through financing is already coming in,” Corbin said. “All right, I feel better.”
The council also held a joint meeting with the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees and KISD staff Tuesday, for the first time since 2007.
The two entities discussed several mutual and potential agreements, including a proposal to place video cameras on school buses to catch illegal passing of the school bus stop arm.
In order for the program to be enabled, the city would have to pass an ordinance, much like the city’s red-light camera ordinance.
KISD transportation director Joe Hart said a test camera on one of the district’s 190 bus routes identified 243 illegal passings in 37 school days.
Hart said KISD has never had a child hit because of illegal passing but it is his “worst nightmare.”
“Just because there hasn’t been a fatality doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen,” Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin said. “At no up-front cost, it sounds like a pretty good opportunity.”