STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
LLANO — Voters have paved the way for millions of dollars of upgrades to roadways across the city of Llano, and now officials are drafting plans to launch work as soon as this fall.
In May, voters approved $4.7 million in tax bonds to pay for the work, which would primarily involve rubberized chip-seal maintenance or hot-mix projects in high-traffic areas.
“For the past 30 years, we’ve not really done anything like this, and the streets have gotten into the shape that they’re in,” Llano City Manager Scott Edmonson said. “It was a testimony of what people are concerned about here and what they’d like to see done.”
With that bond passage comes a tax increase of 27.41 cents per $100 valuation.
Voters also approved a 3 cent tax hike for another $500,000 bond to pay for city pool repair/upgrades and playscapes at Moore and Robinson parks.
Property taxes on a home valued at $100,000 will increase by approximately $304 per year as a result.
Officials said they will wait until after the summer season to start work on the pool.
However, officials have already started formulating the process toward fixing the roads utilizing a 2015 capital improvement study as a guide.
Llano residents rated 50 percent of the roads as “poor” while ranking only 25 percent as good.
“We’re going to be in the design phase of it. We’ll have to look at when we can secure the sale of the bonds,” Edmonson said. “Once a construction company is selected, we’ll work out the deal with them.
“We’re looking at (selling the bonds) possibly in October with the bulk of work in the summer 2018,” he added.
Ahead of the road work, city leaders say they must consider $1.8 million in certificates of obligation to fund wastewater and water projects, which include so-called “pressure plane” issues as well as the chlorination system.
“The bulk of it will be down Sandstone Street. That’s our main trunk line for the wastewater system. It will help with the flow of the wastewater,” he said. “Also, our waterlines, we’re going to put new waterlines in. There’s going to have to be some coordination worked out.”
Residents will see a hike in utility rates to pay for the materials and for the lines, some of which were constructed in the 1950s.
The city has applied for funding from the Texas Water Development board to assist with construction cost.