San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

STAFF REPORT

Hays County Commissioner Will Conley has been elected to a second two-year term as chair of the influential Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board. Board members voted unanimously to give Conley a second turn as chair of the eight-member executive committee during its Jan. 13 meeting.

In 2012 and 2013 — Conley’s first term as chair — the organization allocated $5.3 billion in future spending for roads and bridges; pedestrian and bicycle facilities; and mass transit. His second term  as chair will end in 2015.

CAMPO coordinates mobility planning in a six-county region that includes Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell and Burnett counties and holds the purse strings for most federal transportation funds allocated to the region, not counting project-specific earmarks.

“The decisions that we make now will affect the quality of life in Central Texas for decades to come. Improving our roads and transportation infrastructure is critical to promoting job growth in our region,” said Conley, who is the first official who does not represent Austin or Travis County to chair the board.

As a county commissioner, Conley has spearheaded most of the county’s major road-building initiatives, which so far total more than a quarter-billion dollars in completed, ongoing or funded future projects. Most recently, he and Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe negotiated a $123 million deal with the Texas Department of Transportation that includes funding for FM 110, a bypass around San Marcos’ eastern edge.

What they’re saying

“Chairman Conley has shown energetic and responsible leadership over the past year in planning the transportation and infrastructure future of Central Texas, and I look forward to working with him in the year ahead.”

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell

“Will Conley has proven himself a leader on transportation issues and shown great skill in working with stakeholders throughout Central Texas to meet the region’s future needs. I’m glad he will continue to lead CAMPO during this time of growth and change.”

Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long

UPDATE 02/05/14: The story was updated to include the amount of transportation funds administered by CAMPO during 2012 and 2013, according to Bryce Bencivengo, CAMPO’s community outreach coordinator.

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