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TOPIC: Follow Up to Public Hearing on Bond

Follow Up to Public Hearing on Bond 1 year 5 months ago #288


DATE: July 27, 2017

TO: Steve Manilla, Cynthia McDoland, Jessica Rio, Julie Joe, Ron Wattinger, John Langmore
CC: Travis County Commissioners Court

FROM: County Judge Sarah Eckhardt

SUBJECT: Follow up from the 7/25 Public Hearing on Citizes Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) recommendations

I have developed the following categories of testimony from Tuesday’s public hearing in descending order by numbers of people who spoke to each:
• Opposition to adding Reimers Peacock and Bob Wire Roads
• Opposition to the addition of roads in environmentally sensitive areas such as Reimers Peacock
• Support for all of the recommended Certificates of Obligation (CO) and General Obligation (GO) projects in Precinct 4
• Support for the addition of park and conservation land
• Support for adding $7.5M for the NEMP improvements
• Support for adding all of the “B” rated safety & stream crossing projects to the GO
• Concern over the detail of the Walnut Creek trail

CBAC Chair Ron Wattinger and CBAC member Heyden Black Walker expressed concern regarding the $12M increased cost and whether the refined projects costs would have altered the final recommendation of the CBAC. And Ms. Walker requested that the Court broaden the safety definition to include the safety of bike/ped/transit users.

Many speakers spoke to private financial gain from public improvements. With regard to Reimers Peacock, all speakers were in opposition to the improvement at least in part because of the private financial gain. With regard to Elroy, most speakers were in favor of the improvement irrespective of any private financial gain.

Given the above testimony and the deliberation on the dais Tuesday, I propose the following next steps and timeline to get the Court to the best informed decision on the “drop-dead” date of August 8:
1. 8/1 – Court receives from TNR staff its recommendation for changes, if any, to the safety definition
2. 8/1 – Court receives from TNR & PBO staff their analysis and recommendations on:
a. Adding NEMP
b. Adding “B” safety and drainage projects to the GO
3. 8/1 – Court receives written report from TNR, PBO & County Attorney staff on policy, practice and history of private participation in the funding of Travis County transportation projects
4. 8/2 – Staff transmits product of 1, 2 & 3 above and any follow up from Court to the CBAC in written form.
5. 8/3 – Court requests of CBAC that it reconvene and provide supplemental input to the Court on:
a. A broader definition of a safety project
b. Amending the project list:
i. In light of TNR’s most recent refinement on the project costs
ii. If a broader definition of safety project is adopted
c. Recommendations on
i. Adding NEMP
ii. Adding “B” safety and drainage to the GO
6. 8/4 – Staff transmits all of the above 5(a), (b) & (c) from CBAC to the Court in written form
7. 8/8 - Court takes a final vote on projects included in GO and CO
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt
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