By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
City Council met Tuesday and approved several important and exciting plans for the future sustainability of Belton, to include the updated Belton Thoroughfare Plan and the Sparta Road Expansion Project. The Council approved the authorization of the City Manager to enter into a contract for professional services with KPA for design of the Sparta Road Expansion Project. This project spans the length of Sparta Road from Walmart up towards the High School.
The goal of this project is to improve the flow of traffic through Sparta Road due to the large volume of traffic we tend to see on this road. It can be extremely difficult and frustrating “trying to scoot across Commerce and Sparta” said Public Works Director, Mike Huber. In this area a modern roundabout will be constructed which helps with the safety of the vehicles on the road, reduces congestion on the roadway, reduces pollution and fuel use, as well as saves the city money since they would not need to use signal equipment.
The project is expected to start in October of 2015, however, “some project elements could even be implemented as early as this summer”, Huber commented.
Council also approved adopting an ordinance to approve the updated Belton Thoroughfare Plan which further aids the flow of traffic and travel throughout the city of Belton. A public hearing was held to consider a re-plat for River Place Estates, Phase VII. It was changed from a 2-lot to a 4-lot piece comprised of 7.294 acres. The motion to adopt the re-plat as presented was approved by Council.
Another public hearing was held to consider an ordinance authorizing a zoning change from Planned Development Single Family-1 and Patio Home District to Single Family-2 Zoning District on 56.884 acres with Patio Home Zoning District on the remaining 2.149 acres of land. This 59.003 acre tract of land is proposed as the Dawson Ridge Addition and is proposed to be a 129-lot subdivision. A preliminary plat for Dawson Ridge was also considered.
One citizen came forward and expressed opposition of this zoning change to Council. However, in the end, Council approved both the zoning change and preliminary platting of the Dawson Ridge Addition. Council approved the preliminary plat for Hubbard Branch, a 137.397 tract of land in Belton’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), which is proposed to be a 501-lot subdivision. Voluntary annexation was approved for a 59.555 acre tract of land upon the request of William E. Hickman in addition to a 149.413 tract of land as requested by William E. Hickman and BISD.
Council also approved the authorization of City Manager to take all necessary steps to submit an application for grant funds through the Office of the Government, Criminal Justice Division for Phase II of the Central Texas Regional Law Enforcement Training Facility. The first in-service training in the new facility is planned for April. The City Manager was also given authorization to take all steps necessary to submit an application to the Texas Department of Agriculture for the 2015-2016 Texas CDBG Program under the Community Development Fund.
Mike Huber presented a State of the City Report on Infrastructure Needs and highlighted some major projects that we will undertake in the next five years. This includes the Wastewater Plant Rehab Phase I, Nolan Creek Server Trunk Line Replacement, South Belton Sewer Service, and also the Automated Water Meter Infrastructure Project.
The City’s Finance Director, Brandon Bozon conducted an annual review of the City’s Debt Policy and to consider adoption of a resolution. The Council approved the policy as presented. In addition to the upcoming infrastructure projects over the next five years, Bozon presented a resolution directing the notice of intention to issue combination tax and limited revenue certificates of obligation in a maximum principal amount not to exceed $9,995,000 (which is the proposed cost of the infrastructure projects).
For a more detailed description on the city’s infrastructure needs, please refer to the article “Council examines city’s infrastructure” in the February 19 publication of The Belton Journal. For more information on the City’s Debt Policy, please visit the city’s website at beltontexas.gov.