• October 25, 2014

$20 million in projects slated for Killeen

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Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2014 4:30 am

Killeen could see $20 million in capital improvement projects if approved by the City Council.

Some of those projects include constructing a new fire station, upgrading the community center and completing various street projects, according to a memorandum presented to the council Tuesday.

In 2002, voters approved $64.2 million in general obligation debt for streets, public safety improvements, and parks and recreation projects. General obligation debt is issued by municipalities, whose credit is based on tax receipts and its ability to levy taxes to support the debt issued. This kind of debt must be approved by voters.

“The city uses bond funding for long-term nonrecurring capital projects like buildings and infrastructure. When issuing bonds, projects are grouped together like in this proposed sale in order to save interest and costs of issuance,” said Martie Simpson, Killeen’s director of finance. “Much like an individual would finance a large purchase, like a house or a car, issuing bonds allows the project or purchase to begin now and then debt to be repaid over time.”

Of the $64.2 million, $6.1 million remains. The city is asking the council to approve its use and issue $13.9 million in certificates of obligation debt, which are bonds issued by municipalities without voter approval to finance public projects.

According to city documents, city staff is requesting $1.59 million of the remaining general obligation debt from the 2002 bond election be used for public safety facilities and $4.6 million for parks and recreation projects.

Those projects include construction of Fire Station No. 9, which is estimated to cost $8 million with $600,000 being reimbursed through ad valorem tax obligations. It will be built on Bunny Trail, two blocks south of Stan Schlueter Loop in south Killeen.

Parks and recreation upgrades include $735,000 to the Killeen Community Center, $700,000 for the Westside Trail and $3.16 million for general park upgrades to the Bob Gilmore Senior Center and park maintenance. Those projects are supplemented by a $1.4 million Texas Department of Transportation enhancement grant and $1 million in city-issued refunding bonds for outstanding ad valorem tax obligations, according to city documents.

STREETS PROJECTS

The city will pour $7.4 million into streets projects. The next major project to alleviate traffic is the widening of Trimmier Road and the extension of Lowes Boulevard to Florence Road.

The project still has to go before the council for approval, but it’s expected to go out for bid sometime this year. It has a price tag of $8.4 million. Another $1 million will be poured into improving W.S. Young Drive.

The projects are supplemented by $2 million in Category 7 funding, which is part of the Surface Transportation Program and doled out by TxDOT to areas with populations exceeding 200,000. The funds are allocated through the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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4 comments:

  • Alvin posted at 11:54 am on Mon, Jun 23, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 207

    I agree with you on the lack of information, but don't tell them I said so.

     
  • Max67 posted at 2:15 pm on Sun, Jun 22, 2014.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    In reading the article a couple of points need to be made about how vague administration is being on selling 'to the public a bag of nonsense'. Although there was clearly always some type of criticism under previous managers because they did not provide enough information at the time, this article by management is interesting to say the least.
    For instance back in the day when when David Blackburn and Connie Green were City Managers and mandated full disclosure on city council memorandum ordinance for issuance of debt. First of all, the citizens were advised about what cents per $100 their ad valorem taxes were 'proposed' to be affected, secondly, the exact dollar and 2002 project was reflected.
    Martie, the City Council Memorandums and detail provided is a rambling on of vagueness.
    How about providing to the public a comparison for the last give years of Total Tax Dollar Debt Issued and how much they are paying in as ad valorem taxes; in addition 'how much will this $20,000,000 add to their ad valorem taxes?'
    Another great process back in the day was actually putting a 'Capital Improvement Plan together'; just like the 2002 CIP plan that David Blackburn and Connie Green proposed. The City of Killeen has NOT compiled another CIP plan since 2002!
    'Listening to the citizens and implementing Overall City of Killeen Needs for a change is a thought!
    This would satisfy many important efforts, as discussed above, your Citizens, your Bond Rating Agencies (especially when your general obligation fund balance per the 2013 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) has dropped $1.2 million); improving that 'so-called transparency' that continues to diminish under current administrators Glenn Morrison!

    Once again you tax payers and Bond Rating Agencies should be a little concerned!

    This of course is aligned with the Water and Sewer Study that has not been issued or updated; same concept citizens...pay attention there are millions of dollars in debt no one is telling you about!

     
  • Ultimate Supreme posted at 8:14 am on Sun, Jun 22, 2014.

    Ultimate Supreme Posts: 4

    Plans for E. Trimmier? With all the development moving south alongside that road, it's going to need help.

     
  • sharon posted at 5:49 am on Sun, Jun 22, 2014.

    sharon Posts: 1

    What about building a new bus station? It's a big disappointment.

     

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