By David Tuma, Publisher
The City of Belton approved the tax rate of .6598 on $100 per valuation for the upcoming year. The rate is the same as the previous year. Due increase in valuation of current properties and new property additions the city will have more funds to work with.
The council approved the budget for the 2018-19 year in amount of $28.8-million with John Holmes voted against the budget. Holmes stated at the meeting he felt like there could have been areas the budget could have been reduced, slightly.
With growth comes issues. The Strategic Plan is a solid formula to dealing with a multitude of issues planning for growth. Some of those issues is a need to repair current infrastructure and part of the plan is to address the needs of water sewer and roads. The plan also deals with aging infrastructure.
It is simply a plan. For two decades the City of Belton, TxDot and Bell County have been planning the Lake-to-Lake road. This road was part of the Strategic Plan presented Tuesday night. It is has been, and it being, contested by area residents.
On Tuesday night, the Council approved the Strategic Plan. “Most of us (Council) have lived here our whole lives. Main Street is one of those issues we wish had been dealt with years ago. We serve the people here as family. We have to look at the benefit of all. You have to do what benefits everybody. You have to plan for the future and safety of all,” said Councilman Dan Kirkley.
“This is not a four lane road. This is a neighborhood road. It is 150 feet of right of way not 150 feet of highway. Emotions get involved. We base our decisions on facts. This road has been a part of those neighborhood plans,” said Councilman Guy O’Bannion.
This road, if built, is in the very long term. The problem perhaps is that this road isn’t going to be another two decades of planning.
Acquisition of street right of ways has been underway by the city since 1999. These purchases include subdivision: Red Rock, Smith/Dawson Ridge/Ranch, Highland Estates, Mystic Mountain, Cameron Hills and Chisholm Trail West.
This roadway was ranked by KTMPOR Regional Plan for the City/County as 12th out of 115 important projects in Bell County.
The comparison on what may be built is Chisholm Trail Parkway. The Lake-to-Lake project ranks behind Loop 121 and FM 93 expansions.
City staff met with the Home Owners Associations for Dawson and Regatta Oaks subdivisions September 4th. In all probability, by the time the road may be built, none of the current council will be serving when the roadway is completed. Twenty years ago, nobody would have predicted bumper to bumper traffic on Main Street every day at 5 p.m.