Bond update: Road projects nearly finished

By Moses Leos III

A total of 38 projects completed over an eight-year span highlighted a presentation given to the Hays County Commissioners Court as a progress report on its 2008 Road Bond.

Voters authorized the bond, which was passed by voters by a 2-to-1 margin, for roughly $207 million for the Pass-Through finance program and priority road bond program projects.

Mike Weaver, transportation consultant with Prime Strategies, said in a press release the amount invested for road projects was doubled from the $207 million passed in the bond to $493 million. That was done through partnerships, refinancing for lower interest rates and the pass-through funding program.

Under the pass-through financing program, the county places road debt “on their books,” Hays County Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley said July 12. The county then develops the program to construct the project, and then is paid back by the state.

Conley said the county is paid back on a quarterly basis, per the agreement with the state.

Of the roughly $493 million invested for transportation improvements in the county, roughly 48 percent was leveraged by Hays County. The county since 2008 has invested $255 million and has received roughly $133 million in financial reimbursements from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Weaver said the county has completed roughly 38 projects over the course of eight years. He said on average it takes roughly seven to ten years for each project from start to finish.  

He also said working with local communities and landowners were other factors.

Under the county’s priority road bond program, 18 of the 19 projects were completed, with the exception of Dacy Lane. Weaver said all projects were under budget.

One of many projects under the priority road bond program included improvements to RM 967 at Ruby Ranch Road, 

Eight of the nine Pass-Through finance projects were completed, with the exception of the FM 1626 south reconstruction. Construction on FM 1626 south improvements from FM 967 to FM 2770 would start “soon,” Weaver said.

Weaver said the county is “now down” to 12 to 13 years for full repayment of the bond. Estimates had the county paying back the bond over an 18-year span.

Conley said in a press release that almost all of the county’s projects are completed or underway, and that the county has “maintained a lower tax rate” than originally projected in 2008.

“We have delivered above and beyond what we told voters in 2008,” Conley said.  

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