MONEY

The city of Killeen will “strategically defer” a $30 million bond election originally proposed for May 5 as it seeks funding for two road projects that surround possible new schools in south Killeen.

The Killeen City Council reached a 5-0 consensus Tuesday to not immediately move ahead with a bond to help pay for improvements to two roads that will service schools proposed in the Killeen school district’s separate $426 debt proposition.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Kilpatrick and Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King were not in attendance.

The district’s potential bond would help cover the construction of a sixth high school on Chaparral Road as well as a collection of middle and elementary schools in the area.

The city originally proposed using its own bond to pay for the expansion of Chaparral and East Trimmier roads, both two-lane thoroughfares, to help accommodate an expected increase in traffic due to the new schools.

In deferring its bond, the city proposed moving ahead with preliminary design and engineering work on the two projects and waiting for the outcome of any school district bond election in May.

“Frankly, right now we have a lot of unknowns surrounding these projects,” Director of Public Works David Olson said. “We’re going to do these studies that are going to be necessary regardless of bond election or no bond election.”

The improvements to Chaparral Road, which is primarily owned by Bell County, and the city-owned East Trimmier Road were listed as “high priority” in the city’s 2015 Transportation Capital Improvement Plan prior the school district announcing its potential bond.

City Manager Ron Olson said the city favored conducting preliminary design work because the funds are already available in the 2018 budget. Olson said the city should be prepared to shoulder the cost of infrastructure running to the new schools if they are approved by voters.

“One of the main points I wanted to make in this whole discussion is although this is a school bond, if they approve that, it’s going to have an impact on the city,” he said. “We’re going to have to follow up on our responsibility.”

Council members said they were pleased they wouldn’t have to bring the two projects to voters without all of the details hashed out.

“I think it’s a great call by staff,” Councilman Gregory Johnson said. “I always thought we were moving too fast. I think a blind person can see the city growing down south, but we have to be strategic about it.”

The city said it would pursue a funding agreement with the city of Harker Heights, Bell County and the Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2, which has an existing agreement with the city to pay for improvements to Chaparral Road.

Olson said he was hopeful the Chaparral improvements — which are estimated at $27 million — would qualify for federal funding through the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization if the city brought in partners for the project.

“I don’t think we ought to go too far before we get those agreements in place,” he said. “We need to know how much and when KTMPO will give us in federal highway funds. That’s a key piece. I think if we go in as a group and say ‘this is a regional project,’ that has to carry a lot more weight.”

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(16) comments

Alvin

Well, as usual, this newspaper has chosen to 'not print a certain column that they deem to be 'offensive in nature' that pertains to a comment by this person. These are questions that should be answered by the city administrative group. So here it is again.

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
In my opinion, we have gotten so incensed by the new 3,750 home project, just across the city limits, the new water plant, the new chemical plant, and the increase in new roadways and the delimiting of old existing roadways, and the fact that it always been said that 'the southern range is the only way that Killeen can expand. Have we forgotten that observation???? But we don't seem to grasp the fact that 'there is a 3,750 home development project in that direction. Does this seem to 'lock in the city of Killeen to this size with no growth potential???? We also do not seem to remember that 4 years ago it was stated that we could not expect for this housing project to be incorporated into our city, but we want to finance a new water plant anyway. I want to ask the question: 'does the count in total water meter to be installed count as in the city of Killeen or should that be carried in another limit???? But where does that leave us???? If this housing project will not be in the city limits, and the term that was used, and I paraphrase here: 'was for the next 20 years if ever'. Then why are we patronizing this group of individuals???? Are we to build the new city hall on county land???? I believe the new high school and elementary school will skirt the city limits also. As has been said, the city can only expand in a southerly direction. Why are we selling ourselves short by all of this expansion conversation and not maintaining the properties that are within the city limits????
This I believe should also be a consideration of what to do to the roadway expansion and the new high school expansion. I do not see this as an equitable arrangement and say vote 'no' on all bonds until this city and this school board can see over the horizon.
This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: This is where we part company.
As I recall, when they wanted to replace Farris, the 'committee' went into the session with I think it was 7 or 8 candidates. In secret of course, and Police Chief Baldwin came out as the single most qualified. He then sat about 'telling the district managers that he wanted for them to get a budget ready by I think it was November'. That never happened. He started the 'reorganization of the files' and you know what happened there with lost files.
He was responsible for 'setting in motion' the move that would have emptied out the 2nd and 3rd floors and look what happened.
I'm sorry but I tend to think that his appointment was 'predetermined' that he go to this position.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin, ok I see you point. I need to go back and look at news stories. To be fully honest its so hard to keep track of coming and goings. I personally having lived all over the country have never seen so many turn overs in one city.
This could be a lot of why we are were we are at. Just to many with their own agendas and not one of them on the same page.
As a citizen all you can do is base your opinions on what little you hear at these meetings and workshops and this news paper is full of tow many writers that are so one sided.

Personally I am sick of watching the idiocracy of this cities council members. and those that vote them in.


eyewatchingu

I do not think Mr Baldwins move was to finish a loop. I feel for that at first myself. I think with Mr Baldwin their it protects the city monies. I think that Mr. Bladwin being where he is, is given our city manger more of a chance to speak out. I think that it was a smart move in protecting the city monies, and not allowing the cities money to be misused and as we seen last city hall meeting, it has actually allowed our city manger to speak out more. The problem is those sitting on city council can not comprehend what all this build is going to cost the city of Killeen. I think Baldwin is the key to keeping more honesty amongst these sitting council men and women. If you watch the city manger closely, you can see on his face he is getting frustrated with the city council members, and his hands are tied to the point as last Tuesday at the workshop he tried to explain about what infrastructure this was going to take, he basically was trying to tell them, this bond and build needs to be put on hold.
Yes Ferris leaves on the 31st.
I can explain it better in person Alvin.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: As I remember, the chronology was city manager, Morrison, to Farris, to Dennis Baldwin, to Ron Olsen who selected Dennis Baldwin to be the Assistant city Manager. Dennis Baldwin selected Dr. Farris to be the deputy or assistant city manager.
I agree that selecting a known person would have been a more logical choice and I'll leave it at that.
As I've stated, I do not want to get into some person, people, who live or have lived in other cities, I wish to make my comments as relating to Killeen, Texas. Somebody else can solve their own problems.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

not talking about the chief that went to the city management, talking about young. She was more then qualified to have been chief. Actually way and far above, then this new chief. What happened was when elections came around for city council, pressure by a certain interest non profit org went around pressuring candidates to get rid of young in favor of bringing in a new chief of police. This new chief comes from NC with ties to many of those that belong to these non profit groups. Then if you look back thu the articles, you see this same non profit group involved in the selection of this sitting now sitting chief. A chief that not alone has very little actually exp to deal with an area like this. The area he was chief of police of has a lot of the same type housing in the area. He was only their long enough to pick up less then a years exp in a high crime area. Yet I have found facebook post predating the city of Killeen looking for a chief of police, where certain members of this Non Profit org stating they can not wait for him to get here ect. Even before the elections started last year. Way before applications were even started.
I started noticing other things, from these facebook pages that were link to both his personal and NC chief facebook pages. The same names poping up, also the same groups poping up. Once he gets here, just like in these types of builds, they pressure the city into allowing certain groups to have their own basically aka citzens police yet ran by a non profit org, which once they are trained are put into this as they call city with in a city ( these are not city with in city as a city with in city is like norwood ohio that has ford, us playing card. Norwood was able to sustain itself by having jobs and so on and played by state of ohio tax laws extra. Nothing like this) Yet they are basically neighborhood watch groups, and still rely on the cities police dept, fire ect. Then what happens is at any given time since the non profit owns the land, they forclose on the homeowners, for veriouse reasons from toys in the front yard down to having rights to come inside the homes any time they wish. So here is where they make bank, they then resell the house at the same once again at the same cost with out having to pay taxes or having a increase in property tax, so the land is banking equity and the home owners lose. By the time the states see what is going on it is to late and remember the 99 year which means Texas as a whole feels the hits. There is another one of these popping up in another city with 2700 homes being built. The only way a city or state can recoup is raising sell taxes if they are in a state that has no income tax. The states that can raise income tax, well they loses jobs. Yet the cities in which these build are built already have no jobs and jobs will not come to those areas which means more home lost creating dead parts of the cities like Detroit. Now that same org goes in and start buying up the land and start building again. The only thing they bringing into the community is service jobs. Because there is no way to recoup the lose of property taxes, because the city is not given anything back like the city receives from disabled vet discounts and so on. So from there its a downward spin. I am looking for a link to the gang wars in NC, it will shows how these builds drove up the gang population to leading to the gang war.


This and anything I post is personal opinion, anything copied or used is in violation of my digital rights and violation of my freedom of speech!

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
@eyewatchingu: I do not or will not speak of a city in which I have not lived and obtained first hand knowledge, but I will speak my personal opinion of that city in which I feel I am not qualified to speak.
Copy: 'That video I posted of what happened at the voter polls show what happens at the polls in these areas that are being forced into this type of builds.
That is why it was so much of a need to Change police chief, and the pressure on the candidates to be willing to get rid of young' End of copy.
If I am reading you correctly, there was a move in this city to 'change the police chief', but he was just 'relocated' from being the chief of police to assistant city manager. Has anyone checked to see if the 2nd assistant city manager has resigned her position effective January 1, 2018????
As stated, there, in my opinion, there is a concerted effort to close all of the loop holes, dot the eyes, and cross the tee's to practically everything here in Texas. So goes the city of Killeen when they “strategically defer” a bond election and not maintain the existing roadways here in Killeen choosing to 'let the roadways suffer'.

This newspaper is not a event newspaper as they are, as I see it, a gossip sheet known for everything but the truth in reporting and if they do not like what you are writing, they skip down to something that's 'not so inherent in nature'. It used to be some newspapers were called a 'Democratic' newspaper, or a 'Republican' newspaper, but I don't think they can be called that anymore. So what is the use of 'obtaining a story or protects the story and it's benefactor if there may or may not any substantive truth in the telling? So it just becomes a story with or without truth or validity.
How many times has 'a citizen' wrote in accordance with the story only to get that story, or article shuffled off to the deep well and another story, almost identical in nature is given the publicity. That's journalism????
So it goes in the land of make believe.
It is my opinion that until we can get a city council that does not hide from the truth, the truth will not come out and we will continually be bombarded with this nondescript form of injustice that pervades this city, with the non transparency issues and the secrecy of 'hiding everything from the citizen, nothing more, nothing less.
This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin seems even with paying the fee to KDHnews to read their news, most of my post are now not being posted.
In the end these types of communities have drained cities across the US, its only recently that Texas has tried these. These types of build have destroyed many cities as putting the load on the city its self. They in the end fail and the homes are resold over and over and the only one seeing money is the real estate companies, the contractors that built it, finances companies and so on. In the end, because of they have set their own appraisal values, and so on, the city must provided the increase need into these areas, which put a drain on other areas of the city that is already failing. This cause more land up for grab that is bought up by the same Non profits. Ferguson, Detroit, Chicago and many other cities that started these in the 1970's slide by because the economy was able to provided for them. When the economy left it left these cities in major debt and no way to recoup any taxes as they had set their own property appraisals, collected their own taxes and so on. That they have now moved to other areas in the country.
North Carolina gang wars stemmed from many of these builds as they left the city underfunded for police and so on. They look pretty when they are build, sadly they quickly drop, as the city can not fund them. Most cities have been forced to do this, by a NON profit org that comes into the city and puts demands on that city, from law suits on down.
The worst part is the drain on older areas of the city. Which these builds cause those areas to lose meaning home owners leave and leaves more property up for grabs by these types of Non Profit and builders, causing more strain on the area. If you go up against it you are labeled by this non profit org as many things. Which most cities that are already feeling the pressure will not fight against it. They try and they tend to leave to the city manger to take the heat, while those invested in these types of orgs, keep putting in office those that belong to these orgs. As we see sitting on city council.
That video I posted of what happened at the voter polls show what happens at the polls in these areas that are being forced into this type of builds.
That is why it was so much of a need to Change police chief, and the pressure on the candidates to be willing to get rid of young,. As these org need control to do this.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin I think this is where we are heading. It seems in the last few years many cities have been falling for this here in TX, which in texas this is just a new thing. Where as in areas Like Detroit and many other major cities that are in crises. It seems that they have bought into this. North Carolina has bought into this and sadly it has not come out very well. It has actually allowed many of the gangs to move around easier, dropping property values outside of these types of Home Builds. Where as the homes in these types of home builds area allowed to set there own property values and appraisal values. This means the city is the hook for everything. Instead of Police inside of these communities they are usually ran, by unlicensed officers, and many crimes with in these types of builds go unsolved. Once they start to fail, the homes are resold over and over again. It is hard for me to explain it. They get cities to buy into this garbage by high pressure tactics, usually started with a Certain ORG. Ferguson and many cities have done this and has had bad reactions on city finances and so on. Instead of doing what they say they will, all it boils down to in the end, is putting cities way into debit.

That is why the Property discount for vets is under fire, as to put the eye on that instead of these types of builds. In the end the only people that make anything is the real estate companies, finance companies and the constriction companies.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: I'm sorry I have been out for most of the day and I could not get back to you on this issue.
I am not familiar with this subject, but you seem to cover the limited contents of 11.1827 land trust. I do not know about how much property in Killeen is being covered under the lad trust, and I am not familiar with the 'Rogers' to which you refer. Sorry, but I'll try and dig up some info.
@eyewatchingu:
Copy: 'Funders view Community Land Trusts as cost-effective means of promoting family and neighborhood stability. Stable neighborhoods provide reliable property tax revenues and require less spending for police and fire services, demolition of vacant properties, and fees to process foreclosures. Community Land Trusts operate primarily in low-income and minority neighborhoods, helping to lessen racial disparities.' End of copy.
I tend to question the value and intent of 'Mayors are cutting spending for a wide range of services that impact the quality of life of their communities, including infrastructure and public works, public safety, and parks and recreation. They are trying to freeze wages and cut pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees.' Does this mean that 'we are tending to become a city that tends to cut infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation including the closing of swimming pools, the freezing of wages and the cutting of health care benefits for employees and retirees and not to mention the low-income and minority neighborhoods, helping to lessen the racial disparities????' This approach tend to fit in well with this definition especially those disparities of 'infrastructure and public works, public safety, and parks and recreation. They are trying to freeze wages and cut pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees' as this is what the city of Killeen is doing right at this particular time, Look at what this council is doing; cutting back on the public safety net from 22 to 25 percent to a value of 18 to 20or 22 percent, lowering what we spend on roadway infrastructure so as to make the issuance of a 'city proposed moving ahead with preliminary design and engineering work on the two projects'. I've said all along that 'we need to stay within the bounds of what this city can afford and accommodate, not some 'pie in the sky dream'.
Yes I see this city having to deal with such practices and not having the resource to do so. Such is the fact that now this school district is splitting into two parts with the hope and expectation of 'building the new high school so they can bring more pressure to bear on the two roadway infrastructure projects and further doom the rest of the roadways which are underfunded right now. And on and on and on. Such a deal in the making.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: I'm sorry I have been out for most of the day o I could not get back to you on this issue.
I am not familiar with this subject, but you seem to cover the limited contents of 11.1827 land trust. I do not know about how much property in Killeen is being covered under the lad trust, and I am not familiar with the 'Rogers' to which you refer. Sorry, but I'll try and dig up some info.
@eyewatchingu:
Copy: 'Funders view Community Land Trusts as cost-effective means of promoting family and neighborhood stability. Stable neighborhoods provide reliable property tax revenues and require less spending for police and fire services, demolition of vacant properties, and fees to process foreclosures. Community Land Trusts operate primarily in low-income and minority neighborhoods, helping to lessen racial disparities.' End of copy.
I tend to question the value and intent of 'Mayors are cutting spending for a wide range of services that impact the quality of life of their communities, including infrastructure and public works, public safety, and parks and recreation. They are trying to freeze wages and cut pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees.' Does this mean that 'we are tending to become a city that tends to cut infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation including the closing of swimming pools, the freezing of wages and the cutting of health care benefits for employees and retirees and not to mention the low-income and minority neighborhoods, helping to lessen the racial disparities????' This approach tend to fit in well with this definition especially those disparities of 'infrastructure and public works, public safety, and parks and recreation. They are trying to freeze wages and cut pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees' as this is what the city of Killeen is doing right at this particular time, Look at what this council is doing; cutting back on the public safety net from 22 to 25 percent to a value of 18 to 20or 22 percent, lowering what we spend on roadway infrastructure so as to make the issuance of a 'city proposed moving ahead with preliminary design and engineering work on the two projects'. I've said all along that 'we need to stay within the bounds of what this city can afford and accommodate, not some 'pie in the sky dream'.
Yes I see this city having to deal with such practices and not having the resource to do so. Such is the fact that now this school district is splitting into two parts with the hope and expectation of 'building the new high school so they can bring more pressure to bear on the two roadway infrastructure projects and further doom the rest of the roadways which are underfunded right now. And on and on and on. Such a deal in the making.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

Funding for pre- and post-purchase homeowner education and training, as well as the more intensive interventions of Community Land Trusts, typically come from private donations, foundation funds and, mostly, city and state grants.

Funders view Community Land Trusts as cost-effective means of promoting family and neighborhood stability. Stable neighborhoods provide reliable property tax revenues and require less spending for police and fire services, demolition of vacant properties, and fees to process foreclosures. Community Land Trusts operate primarily in low-income and minority neighborhoods, helping to lessen racial disparities.

While most mayors continue to call bankruptcy protection for their cities a last resort, they are desperate for relief from financial difficulties. Mayors are cutting spending for a wide range of services that impact the quality of life of their communities, including infrastructure and public works, public safety, and parks and recreation. They are trying to freeze wages and cut pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees.

These financial challenges explain why mayors and others find it difficult to increase or even maintain support for Community Land Trusts. The study found that most land trusts are “not sufficiently resourced” to meet the stewardship needs they face.

eyewatchingu

state law made land-trust properties tax-free, which would in the end put a strain on a community as a whole because it would prevent state and local areas to collect property taxes, nor are the cities getting any money back on these. Which would put more strain on the city that has to keep up with infrastructures to support these areas. From building schools and so on. So basically the only people that would profit would be the builders and sellers of these homes.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin the reason I ask is this: Rogers is developing community land trusts, through which a local nonprofit acquires a parcel of land and pledges to use it for purposes that benefit the neighborhood, whether that be food production or affordable housing. In the housing model, the nonprofit builds a home on the land and sells it to someone in need. But the nonprofit retains ownership of the land that the house sits on, leasing it to the homeowner for a designated time period, typically 99 years. The lease between the homeowner and the nonprofit sets a fixed rate for the house’s appreciation, so that the homeowner builds equity.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin

Do you know how much if any of the land to be use for the Mudd is under the 11.1827 Community land tax?
Also do you by any chance know how much land in Killeen is under the 11.1827 community land trust?
Do you also know if that info falls under public knowledge?


Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

I agree with the decision to 'defer' the $30 million although I wouldn't refer to it as being a 'strategic' move. It is my opinion that Killeen needs maintenance to their roadways and any money's should go toward this venture. We aren't even sure that the monstrous $426 million dollar school bond is even going to pass. Let us all work forward to our very pressing needs rather than 'betting on the come' so to speak. As the author says, 'surrounds possible new schools in south Killeen'.
As to the 'preliminary design and engineering work', It is my opinion that this too can be deferred until a later date that may or may not be plausible in accordance with the future high school. Notice, I did not say it was a done deal but a future deal.

Copy: “Frankly, right now we have a lot of unknowns surrounding these projects,” Director of Public Works David Olson said. “We’re going to do these studies that are going to be necessary regardless of bond election or no bond election.” End of copy.

Why do we want to spend money needlessly???? The main criteria is 'if the high school get the $426 million dollar bond approved, so why do the 'studies right now'???? I say spend any money that we already have in the budget on roadway maintenance. The 'unknowns' will still be there in the future.
And 'yes', they will still be there but not so impending and that is we do not know.
I tend to disagree with the city manager as it is my personal opinion that the funds already available in the 2018 budget should be used not for conducting preliminary design work but on the infrastructure need of this city. The impetus as to a need now or further down the road is something that will be decided in the May 2018 election. Don't spend money that we do not have but frugally as this city does not have enough so spend it wisely.
Copy: “I think it’s a great call by staff,” Councilman Gregory Johnson said. “I always thought we were moving too fast. I think a blind person can see the city growing down south, but we have to be strategic about it.” End of copy.
Yes we can all agree with that but doesn't it seem logical to move the city limits so as to incorporate this building boom, more tax revenue with property. Let's share this building boom so all can accommodate this feature.
As to 'Federal Funding', I agree, let's do our homework and not put $5 million dollars 'earnest money' on the table like your predecessor did. If that is done then each city/county will constitute ownership of that portion which they will be obligated to maintain in perpetuity.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.