Village of Salado aldermen, on a split vote July 6, directed village administrator Don Ferguson to change language in a design agreement and put design work out for bid on a $2 million Royal Street Improvement Project.
The Village cannot submit financials for approval of a construction loan until environmental assessment is done on the project.
“We need to move forward with preliminary design of Royal Street Improvement project before environmental can be done,” Ferguson said. The cost would be rolled into a construction loan for the Village.
“Some may have to come out of fund balance,” Ferguson said.
The Village will pay $400,000 of the construction cost for rebuilding Royal St., plus the design costs of $332,795, which would bring the Village portion of the total cost to and estimated $732,795. TXDoT will pay $1.6 million for the project.
Engineering costs are “not out of line for a $2 million-plus project,”Ferguson said.
You will have additional revenue coming in from sales tax revenues.
“The overlay would have been quick,” Ferguson said, adding that the new design will be more of a rebuild of Royal St. and include drainage work and sidewalks in some areas of the right of way.
Property owner KD Hill spoke on the topic, telling aldermen that “timing is critical to businesses here,” adding that, “Drainage, curbs and gutters are more important now than ever before.” She asked the board to consider streetlights, if not now, then later. “It is very dark on Royal St. from end-to-end.”
Alderman Jasen Graham asked about whether the Village could fund this loan as well as the loan for the new municipal building and the possible purchase of a wastewater treatment plant. “Is that going to put us in a position of being cash poor?” he asked.
“A lot of that will be determined by the terms of the loan and how it will be paid off,” Ferguson responded, whether it is paid off in the short term or long term.
“Does doing this impact our ability to do these things simultaneously?” Graham asked, referring to the possible purchase of the wastewater treatment plant at the corner of FM 2484 and I-35, the construction of the new city hall and the added costs for Royal St.
“What controls do we have to safeguard this investment,” alderman Jason Howard said, particularly if Sanctuary development ramps up. He added, “I have concerns about how I have seen constsruction vehicles operate in this town… If we’re going to spend this type of money, then let’s do the things we are supposed to do and safeguard this investment and not let it get torn up significantly faster than if we had done our job. Until I see a financial plan in place and some safeguards to protect it. That’s where I’m at…. I don’t like it.”
Mayor pro tem Rodney Bell gave the motion to have Ferguson put the engineering portion of the project out for bid, receiving a second by aldermen Paul Cox. The motion carried with aldermen Bell, Graham and Henry voting in favor and aldermen Paul Cox and Howard voting against.
The board also voted to create an I-35 West-side Overlay Task Force with the following members: Jasen Graham, two members of Planning and Zoning, and property owners Albert Lopez and Scott Ellithorpe and two business owners. The motion carried with Bell voting against.