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Public Comments on Travis County Bond Proposal

The Travis County roads and parks bond proposal includes money to build more sidewalks and road improvements. Photo by KUT News.

Travis County residents are giving County Commissioners their two cents at a public hearing on the county bond package proposal. The proposal, unveiled last week, is a $206 million bond of 36 various transportation, park and utility line projects. This bond is an abbreviated list from an earlier proposal that of about $638 million. A large portion of the bond projects are in eastern Travis County, where officials believe urban growth with happen over the next 20 years.

“It does amaze me a little bit about how large the parks and recreation budget is,” said Travis County resident Rick Perkins. He attended many of the meetings held by the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee and thanked them for working on the bond. A trail user, Perkins said he liked the $12 million parks project proposal to add facilities and land improvements to the Onion Creek Greenway. But Perkins questioned the  need for parks improvements at this time.

“I’m just wondering if we are going just a little bit too far on this bond package,” he said.

Perkins reintroduced an argument for funding the building of  SH-45 in Southwest Austin. The parks and roads bond proposal does not include money for that project, but 80 people signed up to comment on SH-45, including Shady Hallow resident Vicky Goodwin.

“Could you not give us $500,000 towards the environmental study just to keep that glimmer of hope that maybe one day we will have traffic relief?”  

Travis County Commissioner will decide at their August 9 meeting which items will be on the bond ballot that goes before voters this November. The bond would be divided into two; separating road projects from park projects. County taxes would increase for homeowners if the bond package is passed. This bond package would not cover the cost of building a new courthouse in downtown Austin.

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