The five largest cities in the Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization are vying for portions of about $5.8 million in federal transportation funds the authority will distribute by the end of the year.
“The KTMPO policy board approved that 90 percent of the federal dollars would be spent on road construction and 10 percent on transit,” said Mark Collier, a senior regional planner with the organization.
Because of the organization recently changed federal designation, the area now gets portions of Category 7 funds, and an estimated $5.8 million is being allocated to the organization for this year and next.
Of that, $642,000 has been earmarked for transit, which requires a $160,000 match, Collier said. The HOP will receive that money to purchase new buses.
Member cities had until Friday to submit a project proposal, which needed to include at least a 20 percent match for consideration. Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Belton all submitted their projects by the deadline, and several projects had projected costs of more than $2 million.
KTMPO’s Policy Board Chairman Scott Cosper said the board would review the proposals and determine which project has the highest priority.
“What are the benefits? Is it supporting a need? Is it addressing traffic safety and improving mobility?” Cosper said about how the board will review the submissions.
KTMPO will forward the projects to the Texas Department of Transportation to make sure they qualify for federal dollars while the planning organization starts its public comment process.
“We will have a couple of workshops where the community can come and give their comments on those projects,” Collier said, noting the process will likely start July 8.
“We haven’t decided where we will have those yet. But we will have a map of each of those projects, so those who come can have a clear understanding of what that project is.”
In September, the policy board will formally review each project before ranking their need for funding, Collier said.
“We look forward to having an open dialogue and see what projects rise to the top,” Cosper said.
Projects that are awarded money must be contracted out by Aug. 31, 2014, so the list of submitted projects are basically “shovel ready,” Collier said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474