LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Even the best of programming requires a rerun now and again, which is what Killeen’s City Council is headed for this week.

The City Council’s meeting agenda consists of a consent agenda, a resolution to discuss Mayor Jose Segarra’s local state of disaster, and a series of hearings on easements and rezoning requests that were part of last week’s docket.

The City Council during Tuesday night’s regular meeting is expected to move relatively quickly through its consent agenda, which consists of a $2.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, tentative approval of a drainage ditch repair effort, and the rejection of all bids for the Valley Ditch Phase 1 of the BNSF Railroad Drainage Improvements Project.

While discussion on the project is not likely to take place at Tuesday’s meeting, The City Council is expected to return to the discussion of the BNSF drainage improvement project in the future, as city staff reported last week that the project is a critical part of the city’s infrastructure. The project’s current bids were rejected last week because they exceeded the city’s cost estimate by over $500,000.

After the consent agenda, council will discuss the mayor’s state of disaster declaration, which has so far seen support from Killeen’s City Council. Segarra has stated that the declaration is largely an administrative effort to secure funding for Killeen.

The state of disaster declaration also drew the following analysis from state Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, whose district includes Killeen.

“The recent local State of Disaster declared by the City of Killeen will ensure the city has continued access to resources from the state and federal government to provide increased vaccination and testing opportunities for residents of Killeen,” he said in an email to the Herald.

The declaration would allow the city to receive funding from the state and federal government to continue its free testing and vaccination sites. Technically, the declaration also gives the city the power to establish “quarantine stations” and confine non-compliant individuals to their home, but those practices are currently banned via Gov. Greg Abbott’s July executive order.

The City Council is then expected to return to their discussion on an Atmos Energy easement, for the third of three hearings. The easement has been a point of concern for several council members, as they debated the practicalities of placing a high pressure line in a dense residential setting.

Atmos Energy had two representatives present at last week’s workshop, but the council appeared to remain on the fence after the representatives were unable to answer specific questions regarding the easement’s full impact on residents. Atmos Energy said they would return for this week’s third and final hearing with additional information.

Aside from an additional Atmos-related easement, the City Council is also expected to continue discussion of a new development from Joshua Welch along Rancier Avenue in north Killeen.

The development would create over a hundred duplexes at the terminus of Sally Ride Drive, as well as a strip mall at the entrance of the neighborhood.

The City Council meeting will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of City Hall. The council will also by livestreamed at www.killeentexas.gov/281/Council-Live-Streaming.

jdowling@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552

jdowling@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552

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(1) comment

overseer

Question: is this the same JOSHUA WHELCH who donated $1000 to City Councilman Michael Boyd's campaign? My suggestion is this for Mr. Boyd, while not "throwing rock" as I want him to do well, is to abstain from this vote. If you do not, you will, undoubtedly in some citizen's opinion, appear to have engaged in an unethical deal with a developer; even if he temporarily wasn't one at that time. This is my advice. If the advice is ignored, I perceive that it will be used against you if you should decide to run for another term in the future.

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