STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Llano County Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval presented preliminary information for submitting a grant that could add nearly $374,000 worth of sidewalks in the unincorporated community of Kingsland.
The grant is part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. Sandoval said the final application for the Kingsland request is due August 15, and he plans to bring the item back to the Commissioners Court for its regular meeting July 22.
The proposal includes 5-foot-wide sidewalks on Ranch-to-Market 2900 and Ranch Road 1431 that would serve Packsaddle Elementary School, 150 Pioneer Lane, and the charter Kingsland School, 136 Real St.
On RM 2900, the proposal so far includes the sidewalk beginning near the bridge on the east side of the road and going to the school and beyond to the 1431 intersection. The project also includes a stretch from Real Street to Highland Loop.
“I asked TxDOT to provide me with their most recent traffic counts,” Sandoval said. “The last one they did was in 2017. On 2900, there’s about 14,000 cars per day. About 9,000 around H-E-B, and on 1431, past the intersection, there’s about 13,000 a day. That’s an awful lot of traffic on those roads.”
Commissioners have to approve the submission of the grant application before it is due August 15.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved a resolution “supporting efforts to preserve night skies.”
Cities in the Hill Country, including Mason, Llano, Fredericksburg, Horseshoe Bay, and Johnson City, have adopted similar outdoor lighting ordinances.
Llano County’s resolution stated the county would do three things:
• promote and encourage outdoor lighting fixtures and practices that follow up-to-date suggested guidelines and use available technologies for efficient, cost-effective, non-intrusive lighting;
• work with its partners at no taxpayers’ expense to educate and encourage landowners, businesses, resident communities, and public entities to join the commitment to reduce energy consumption, save money, reduce light trespass, and protect the health and well-being of people and wildlife;
• support Hill Country Dark Sky Reserve’s application to the International Dark-Sky Association for a designation of the reserve area as a Dark Sky Reserve.
More information about ways to preserve the night sky can be found through the Hill Country Alliance.