Killeen is one of four entities that would contribute $24 million to improving the road to the new high school, and the council may vote Tuesday on whether to spend $3.5 million on the project.
The city has a backlog of neighborhood and other streets that need repairs and in August, a fee to pay for them was tacked on to residents’ and businesses’ monthly water bills.
The city’s general fund allocation to city street repairs is about $330,000 this year. The street fee, $1.70 per household, is expected to generate $1.6 million each year to be added to the general fund allocation, which had been about $400,000 a year.
None of the monies from the extra fee will go toward the Chaparral project, according to city staff.
Killeen Independent School District received $426 million in taxpayer-funded bonds in 2018. and $171 million of that is going to the high school. KISD will spend $1.7 million in bond money on the section of the road in front of the school.
On Tuesday night, KISD Superintendent John Craft will talk to the Killeen council members about the road and answer questions.
Harker Heights, Killeen, Bell County and KISD have been in talks about widening Chaparral Road from a two-lane, winding road to a five-lane thoroughfare and have created an initial plan in a memorandum of understanding.
The bulk of the money — $13.8 million requested through Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization — has not been approved.
According to KTMPO reps, the project was submitted 10 years ago and still remains on its unfunded project list.
Kendra Coufal, KTMPO’s planning services manager, said if the Chaparral project doesn’t get any funding, it “will remain on the unfunded project list until funds become available.”
“When funds do become available, their project will still have to prove readiness, retain its higher priority ranking and approved by KTMPO policy board to receive funding,” she said through email on Monday.
If approved Tuesday, Killeen is expected to contribute $3.5 million and an additional $500,000 to the road project through in-kind services, such as project management and inspection of the project at various phases.
According to the agreement, Killeen would be responsible for 4.85 miles of the road and overseeing the project.
Danielle Singh, Killeen’s director of public works, said the $3.5 million will be disbursed through the various phases and not at one time.
“The funding is allocated in a capital projects fund. There are capital projects funds for our enterprise funds as well, but this allocation is in our Governmental CIP (capital improvement project) Fund which is funded from unassigned General Fund balances in excess of the 22% reserve balance,” she said.
The City of Harker Heights approved spending its share of $275,422, which is not yet budgeted until possibly next fiscal year, said City Manager David Mitchell.
“It will more than likely come out of our General Fund,” he said.
He also added the city’s responsibility would be from “the center of Trimmer Creek Bridge down to FM (Farm-to-Market) 3481.”
Bell County approved contributing $3 million, which will come from its road and bridge fund. About eight miles of Chaparral are in the county’s jurisdiction, from State Highway 195 to the expected school site.
The meeting will begin 5 p.m. Tuesday at 101 N. College St.
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