Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison proposed two capital improvement projects that could begin design phases before October, pending approval of the City Council.
During a meeting this week, Morrison suggested the council consider plans to expand Trimmier Road between Central Texas Expressway and Elms Road, in order to relieve a “looming problem” for the city.
He also suggested that the city begin design for a new fire station, Fire Station No. 9, on Bunny Trail in southwest Killeen.
The suggestions came after the city manager revealed the city’s fund balance had exceeded expectations, starting the new year at 33 percent of the general fund.
The council pledged to keep the city’s fund balance between 22 and 25 percent of the general fund in order to keep the city’s high bond rating of AA.
Mayor Dan Corbin said that one-time capital improvement projects, such as the Trimmier Road expansion, are wise because they would not obligate future budgets.
“I think (Trimmier Road) is a bottleneck, I think it is hazardous and it needs to be fixed,” Corbin said.
“I support us looking at that and making it a priority.”
If the council approves the project, the city would hope to begin the expansion of Trimmier Road soon enough to coincide with the Killeen U.S. Highway 190 expansion project, which will break ground next week.
The $55.4 million Texas Department of Transportation project will expand U.S. 190 from four lanes to six lanes between Fort Hood’s main gate and W.S. Young Drive and is estimated to be completed in fall 2015.
The project will include the intersection of Trimmier Road and the U.S. 190 access road — also known as Central Texas Expressway — one of the more notorious traffic snarls in the city.
Killeen officials would hope to tie the Trimmier Road project to the U.S. 190 expansion.
“The key is to have that completed around the same time,” Morrison said.
Morrison also said that CVS has plans to put a pharmacy at the intersection of Trimmier Road and Central Texas Expressway.
The design for Fire Station No. 9 was proposed for the fiscal year 2012-13 budget by Councilman Terry Clark during budget talks last summer.
Although it wasn’t approved by the council for the budget, the design portion of the project was estimated to cost $410,000.
“There’s a lot of houses that are being built in that part of town and they need fire protection,” Clark said.
With the new fire station will come the eventual cost of the salaries of 32 firefighters, which Morrison estimated would draw almost $1 million from the annual budget.
City staff will finalize details of plans for the two projects and may present the information at the March 5 council meeting.