By Michelle Guffey

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON – Construction on the Bell County Jail addition will be given the green light to proceed if Bell County commissioners approve the authorization at today's commissioners' meeting.

According to the weekly meeting agenda, commissioners are set to approve a Notice to Proceed, allowing Skanska USA Building Inc. of Temple to begin construction on the 658-bed jail addition on Loop 121 in Belton.

Construction is expected to last 18 months and cost about $42 million at 3.5 cents per $100 on the property tax rate valuation. Limited tax notes will be used to fund the project.

The new jail will alleviate inmate overcrowding at the current facility in downtown Belton.

Also on the agenda, commissioners will:

n conduct public hearing and consider the abandonment/vacation of a portion of South Mockingbird Road.

n consider approval of the deeding of right-of-way and granting of a drainage easement to the city of Belton for the planned extension of Huey Road.

n consider final plat approval for the replat of lots one, two and three, Chisholm Oaks Subdivision.

n consider releasing cashier's check No. 197715, First State Bank Central Texas, in the amount of $1,750 now being held as warranty for defects in the street improvements of Ryan Addition.

n consider awarding bids for the purchase of liquid asphalt, hot mix, cold mix, cement, lime, concrete and pit-run gravel.

n consider approval of resolution asking the Texas Legislature to pass HJR 61, by Chairman Wayne Smith, prohibiting unfunded county mandates unless the state provides to the county the costs of the mandate and that a constitution prohibition or unfunded mandates be supported, noting that the Conference of Urban Counties has identified at least 31 bills containing unfunded mandates have already been filed.

n receive a resolution unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of Bell County Expo, Inc. endorsing the approximately $15 million dollar Expo Master Plan and urging the commissioners to pursue the county hotel occupancy tax option to fund the new facility.

n consider approval of action setting date, time and location for a presentation and public hearing on the Expo Master Plan and the Expo Center Board's request that a county hotel occupancy tax be used to fund the project and to consider action on the request.

n consider approval of collection guidelines for court costs and fees in response to Senate Bill 1863 and guidance from the Office of Court Administration.

n consider approval of submission of application for discretionary grant from the task force for indigent defense.

n consider administrative approval and ratification of amendment No. 5 to agreement between owner and architect dated Feb. 8, 2003, with Wiginton Hooker Jeffry, P.C. regarding the Bell County Jail addition project.

Contact Michelle Guffey at or call (254) 501-7550

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