Downtown Improvements Phase II

The city of Killeen has entered into agreement to complete Phase II of its downtown improvement project, Thursday, May 29, 2014 in front of Solix at 402 East Avenue D in Killeen.

The Killeen City Council voted to approve a more than $440,000 contract with Waco-based Barsh Company to improve the street and walkways on a two-block span in downtown Killeen at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The improvements are part of the city’s scaled-down second phase of the Downtown Streetscaping Project.

The new sidewalks will run in front of the Solix call center at 402 E. Avenue D. The project was part of a January 2014 performance agreement between Parsippany, New Jersey-based Solix, a government services firm, and the Killeen Economic Development Corporation. The entire scope of the project will run along Avenue D between Eighth and 10th streets.

As part of the agreement, the EDC contributed $300,000 to the city of Killeen to pay for the project. The rest will be paid from the city’s capital improvement fund.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the contract with Councilman Gregory Johnson in opposition. Johnson said residents expressed concerns the 12-month warranty period for the road repair portion of the project was not long enough, leading to concerns that the city would on the hook for potentially shoddy construction in the future.

Public Works Director David Olson said the city was currently reviewing its development standards and expected to bring a presentation before the council in the near future.

The city originally bid out an expanded version of the project in June 2015 and later rejected all bids after it was determined there were not enough available funds, the city said.

Olson said Tuesday the city was around $1 million short in funding for the original project.

In May, Solix announced the signing of a job incentive package with the KEDC that would add 180 jobs over the course of three years in a second 6,000-square-foot facility in downtown.

According to its agreement, the KEDC’s incentives include:

The KEDC will make a job creation grant payment in the amount of $1,000 per job for jobs 176 through 285 after the job is created and filled.

The KEDC will make a second job creation grant payment in the amount of $1,000 after each of jobs 176 through 285 has been filled continuously for 12 months.

The KEDC will make a job creation grant payment in the amount of $1,250 per job for jobs 286 through 366 after the job is created and filled.

The KEDC will make a second job creation grant payment in the amount of $1,250 after each of jobs 286 through 366 has been filled continuously 12 months.

In other business Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of 40 fleet vehicles at a total cost of $3 million from nine different vendors.

According to a council memo, the package will include the purchase of 32 public safety replacement vehicles and eight replacements for the public works department. The purchase covers two fiscal years and will draw $1.7 million in budgeted funds from the fiscal 2019 budget and $1.3 million from the fiscal 2018 budget.

The total amount budgeted in fiscal 2019 for fleet replacement is more than $4.6 million, leaving nearly $3 million for future purchases.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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