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KTMPO seeks public input on spending federal funds

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Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 4:30 am

Residents can attend hearings in Killeen and Temple on Monday to help their local transportation authority decide where to spend an estimated $5.8 million in federal funds.

The Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization is conducting two public hearings to gather residents’ input about five roadway projects submitted from Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Temple and Belton.

“These projects compete regionally, and we need to hear from the public,” said Scott Cosper, KTMPO policy board chairman.

Each project within the submitted city’s boundaries, is meant to improve traffic flow and connect to a state right of way. They also are required to have at least a 20 percent local funding match, but several of the suggested roadway construction projects exceed that value.

The money is from federal Category 7 funding, a new level for which KTMPO qualified after the 2010 census because of its population size.

The hearings start the public comment period for the projects. People have until July 23 to submit their thoughts before a formal review by KTMPO’s technical and policy boards.

“They are all very good projects, and we just need to figure out where that money will be best spent,” Cosper said. “Many times there is multiple places where you can invest those funds and have a good a project, but if the public is involved and engaged, it will certainly help a project rise to the top.

“After all, that is who we are working for.”

Cosper said KTMPO public forums generally don’t have a high turnout, so he encourages residents to attend.

“I hope that we can draw out a better crowd, so we can let people know what their (Texas Department of Transportation) representatives are doing for them.”

KTMPO helps decide and prioritize transportation projects in Bell County and portions of Coryell and Lampasas counties, including Copperas Cove and Kempner.

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