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Substandard Road Fund Project

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8 months 3 weeks ago #1046 by CommissionerAnn
I write to call your attention to the Substandard Roads budget item listed as Ref # BH-08 for TNR, Rank New1. This item is a top priority for me and my constituents, and I’m sure for many of your constituents, too.  Many of these substandard roads are located in lower income neighborhoods and hidden in pockets of poverty surrounded by higher incomes. We all have heard many families testify to the consequences of these substandard, poorly maintained roads including:1.       No school bus routes2.       Limited access by EMS & Fire/Rescue3.      Missed work and school because of flat tires and other car damage;4.      Illegal dumping and camping that erodes safety5.      Limited mobility for persons with disabilities.As a reminder, the Court unanimously passed a resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Gomez and me, last year directing staff to bring us a plan to address these roads. Additionally, the CBAC recommended the creation of a Substandard Roads Task Force and, earlier this month, the Court unanimously directed staff to create this Task Force including community volunteers to evaluate the scope of the problem and develop a set of recommended approaches to upgrading substandard roads.  To foster urgency and purpose for Task Force members, and to be ready to leverage other funding sources, I urge each of you to support creation of the Substandard Road Project Fund with a capital investment of $10M.On the Budget Worksheet, PBO lists this item as a $10,000,000 capital expense and has indicated to me that it is best suited to be funded by Certificates of Obligation.  As such, this item, similar to using COs or Hiway Funds for FM 812 which I support, doesn’t compete with other one-time funds or ongoing funds and can be managed for timeliness by PBO as a project(s) are ready.I hope the Court will pass this line item to help fulfill the County’s core responsibilities for safety and roads.

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TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.5 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $9.12.