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August 24th, 2009
County sells first round of 2008 road bonds

SUBMITTED REPORT

The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday authorized the sale of the first bonds to fund road improvements Hays County voters approved in November.

Voters agreed to a total of $207 million to improve road safety and mobility throughout the county, with some $133 million expected to be reimbursed by the Texas Department of Transportation through its Pass-Through Projects program.

“This is actually a good time to issue that debt,” said Hays County Auditor Bill Herzog. “Interest rates are low – we got interest rates ranging from about 4.07 to 4.55 percent which were lower than projected – and the weakened economy is continuing to hold down construction costs, so from those standpoints our timing could make this a better deal for taxpayers than they expected during the bond election.”

Nearly $50 million in bonds were issued to be used for cash-flow expenses for Pass-Through Finance Projects, which are projects that will be reimbursed up to $133 million by TxDOT. Those activities include:

  • Farm-to-Market Rd. 1626A (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right-of-way acquisition)
  • Farm-to-Market Rd. 1626B (environmental studies, final design; right-of-way acquisition)
  • Farm-to-Market Rd. 110 (final design, right-of-way acquisition, construction)
  • Interstate 35 Phase 1 CR 210 to Farm-to-Market Rd. 1626 (right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, construction)
  • Interstate 35 Phase 2A Farm-to-Market Rd. 150 realignment (preliminary engineering and environmental studies; final design and construction)
  • Interstate 35 Phase 2B Farm-to-Market Rd. 150 to Farm-to-Market Rd. 1626 (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, design)
  • Interstate 35/Farm-to-Market Rd. 2001 (construction)
  • U.S. 290W (construction)

Approximately $10 million in bonds were issued to cash-flow expenses for the Priority Road Projects that were deteRanch-to-Market Rdined by the County following public meetings with citizens. They include:

  • U.S. 290 from Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 to McGregor Lane (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 at Sports Park Drive (final design; right-of-way acquisition construction)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 at Old Kyle Road (preliminary engineering, final design; construction)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 at Ranch-to-Market Rd 32 (final design, right of way acquisition, construction)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 – Parkway Development (right of way acquisition)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 at Hugo Road (final design, right-of-way acquisition, construction)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 12 at Sink Creek (final design, right-of-way acquisition, construction)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 1826 at Nutty Brown Road (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right of way acquisition)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 1826 at Crystal Hills Drive (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right of way acquisition)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 1826 at Darden Hill Road (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right of way acquisition)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 1826 at Ranch-to-Market Rd 967 (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right of way acquisition)
  • Ranch-to-Market Rd 2325, Fischer Store Road to Carney Lane (preliminary engineering and environmental studies, final design, right of way acquisition)
  • Old Bastrop Highway (CR 266) (preliminary engineering and environmental studies; final design)
  • Texas 21 at High Road (final design, construction)
  • Texas 21 at Farm-to-Market Rd. 2001 (final design, construction)
  • Texas 21 at Rohde Road (final design, construction)
  • Dacy Lane, Bebee Road to Windy Hill Road (preliminary engineering and environmental studies)
  • Lime Kiln Road at Sink Creek (preliminary engineering and environmental studies)
  • Post Road at the Blanco River (preliminary engineering and environmental studies)
  • Lakewood Drive at Farm-to-Market Rd. 1626 (preliminary engineering, final design)

In addition to the voter-approved bonds, funding in the amount of almost $8 million was issued for improvements to Dacy Lane in Precinct 1. Hays County joins Seton Hospital and the City of Kyle in funding those improvements.

— FROM HAYS COUNTY/LAUREEN CHERNOW

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