Street maintenance

A man walks by road construction at the intersection of Gray and Garrison streets in Killeen on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.

With an estimated $1.6 million annual deficit in road maintenance expenses, the Killeen City Council today will discuss implementing a new fee to help bridge the gap.

At a special workshop following its regular meeting, the council will discuss establishing a street maintenance fee — previously referred to as a transportation utility fee — which will be tacked on monthly utility bills for residents and businesses.

According to a city PowerPoint presentation, the amount of the fee will be determined by the type of property being charged and the estimated amount of car trips to and from that location each day.

The city said land uses such as residential homes, apartment complexes and supermarkets would be broken into “units,” which would determine the amount of the monthly fee. For instance, a single-family residence would contain one unit while commercial land would have one unit per 1,000 square feet of building area.

The street fee, which has been voted down twice by the council in recent years, would help counteract ballooning deferred maintenance costs that have been woefully underfunded in past city budgets.

In fiscal year 2018, the council allocated $300,000 in funding for street maintenance — around $1.6 million less than the recommended amount, according a 2013 road infrastructure study from Transmap. That continued underfunding has left some roads in older stretches of Killeen in increasing disrepair and has exponentially raised the cost of preventing major infrastructure failure.

In November, the city estimated deferred maintenance needs could exceed $40 million.

If past discussion is any indication, the proposed fee could face stiff opposition from some council members.

In July 2017, Councilman Gregory Johnson said the fees were a tax in disguise.

“If we’re talking about transportation utility fees, I will expense all of my political capital to kill that — for the third time,” Johnson said at the time.

The council will discuss the proposed fee during a special workshop immediately following regular meeting at 5 p.m. today. The workshop will be held at the Utilities Collection Building, 210 W. Avenue C.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(4) comments

Alvin

This is the 2nd attempt at commenting. First one was around 0800 this morning.
This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Yes, by all means, let's tack another special fee on to the citizens of Killeen.

If I've said it once, I've said it numerous times, 'Do not run this city as it is supposed to be ran, let's get another fee for roads that will be tacked onto the city utility bill'.

We are in the midst of our city coming apart at the seams.

If this city is in need of street repair, then 'let's budget the money that will go for improved streets a little at a time'. It is estimated that to do the job right it will cost approximately $40 million dollars. This cost estimate did not materialize yesterday, it is the culmination of years of neglect, of 'special projects', and you all know 'who that is'.

Yes, by all means, let's get another 'special means of taxation so that we can 'borrow from that fund for another special project and let our road infrastructure continue to decline'.

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 4.42 % who voted.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Yes, by all means, let's tack another special fee on to the citizens of Killeen.

If I've said it once, I've said it numerous times, 'Do not run this city as it is supposed to be ran, let's get another fee for roads that will be tacked onto the city utility bill'.

We are in the midst of our city coming apart at the seams.

If this city is in need of street repair, then 'let's budget the money that will go for improved streets a little at a time'. It is estimated that to do the job right it will cost approximately $40 million dollars. This cost estimate did not materialize yesterday, it is the culmination of years of neglect, of 'special projects', and you all know 'who that is'.

Yes, by all means, let's get another 'special means of taxation so that we can 'borrow from that fund for another special project and let our road infrastructure continue to decline'.

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 4.42 % who voted.

TexaSoldier

A fee implies someone has an option. If you dont have an option such as with a utility, then it is a TAX. Along with KISD taxes, how many more taxes can the property owners absorb before too much is too much? It's getting harder and harder to justify staying in Killeen

(Edited by staff.)

Killeenborn

[angry]What exactly are our property taxes for if not to maintain roads and such?

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