Williamson County Commissioner received a recommendation from a committee Tuesday, June 19, to seek a bond this November to fund road and park projects. The commissioners will decide at a later meeting whether to hold a bonding election this November.
The Williams County Citizens Bond Committee toured cities throughout the county for several weeks to hear from each community about their top priority projects. The committee voted unanimously June 6 to recommended commissioners seek a bond, which would target $573.3 million for roads and $67.6 million for parks.
The 65 top projects selected by the committee for inclusion in the bond covers everything from extending or widening roads and trails to right-of-way purchases to safety improvements, such as flood mapping and low-water crossing protection projects.
County Precinct 2, which covers Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hill and portions of Austin, recommended $103.38 million in road projects, including:
• Bagdad Road at CR 279 – $9.5 million
• Bagdad Road at CR 279 – $85,000 (right of way bucket)
• Brushy Creek Road widening – $2.8 million
• US 183 – $5 million (right of way bucket)
• Corridor I – $6.6 million and $2.3 million (right of way bucket)
• CR 214 extension – $2.3 million
• Hero Way – $29.5 million
• Kauffman Loop – $2 million
• Liberty Hill bypass – $11 million and $2.2 million (right of way bucket)
• Ronald Reagan Boulevard widening – $24.7 million
• Toro Grande Boulevard extension – $10.74 million
• Whitestone Boulevard widening – $4.06 million
The final projects included funding for two of the City of Leander’s top projects - purchasing right-of-way for Hero Way from Toll 183A to the city limits and expanding portions of San Gabriel Parkway and Bagdad Road – while Cedar Park received funding for some of its projects - widening Whitestone Boulevard and Brushy Creek Road and extending Toro Grande Boulevard
Precinct 2 is represented by Commissioner Cynthia Long, whose appointments to the committee were Hill Country Bible Church Leander pastor Joe Bob Ellison and former Cedar Park Mayor and Powell Municipal principal Matt Powell.
Powell said committee selected many great projects countywide and all of the representatives “did a wonderful job working with their jurisdictions and the county.” He noted many of the projects, including many of the Precinct 2 projects, will also help spur economic development in the county in addition to improving the quality of life for county residents.
“The projects will improve safety, they will improve mobility and they will improve economic development,” Powell said.
Powell said Williamson County is one of the most proactive counties he has ever seen in terms of “trying to address transportation issues before they become a crisis.” He said he and Joe Bob were honored to have contributed to the next step in the county’s planning.
Former Cedar Park Council member and senior vice commander of the Leander Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10427 Mitch Fuller was another local resident appointed to the committee. He was added to represent County Precinct 1, which recommended $77.02 million in road projects, including:
• Anderson Mill Road extension - $4.2 million
• Forest North drainage improvements - $5.5 million
• Parmer Lane at Hwy. 45 interchange - $7.3 million
• Pond Springs drainage improvements - $4.4 million
• RM 620 extension - $2.2 million
• Sam Bass Road - $27.5 million
• Wyoming Springs extension - $10 million
• Wyoming Springs extension - $10.9 million
• Wyoming Springs intersection improvements - $3 million (safety bucket)
• Round Rock West flood control - $5 million
The full list of all projects is available on the county’s website and the agenda for the Tuesday meeting.
Simultaneously, the park bonding projects included a wide array of major improvements throughout the county and to major trails. Some of the bigger items included $15 million for various parks and trails land acquisitions, $7.5 million for extending Bagdad Road trail from Leander to Liberty Hill, $5 million Upper Brushy Creek water control improvements and several hike and bike trail extensions from Southwest Williamson County Regional Park, including $6 million to extend them to Lake Georgetown and $4.5 million to extend them to Brushy Creek Regional Trail.
Lastly, two notable improvements to parklands includes $1.8 million for Regional Park and $1.4 million for Champion Park.