TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — New roadway improvements and parks enhancements in Travis County are on the table this November, with voters slated to weigh in on a $450 million mobility and parks bond package.
The proposal comes six years after county voters last approved roadway and parks improvements in November 2017. The majority of Travis County voters approved both a $93.4 million transportation plan as well as $91.5 million in parks investments and conservation efforts.
This latest consideration comes as both Travis County and the City of Austin continue to see tremendous growth, with more residents equaling a greater strain on local infrastructure. Travis County Judge Andy Brown told KXAN Thursday he hopes these investments can solidify and preserve county infrastructure for generations to come.
“Travis County and Austin have grown tremendously since [that last bond],” he said. “What this bond is doing is trying to make sure that we still have the same quality of life, the same access to roads and parks spaces and that we’re preserving our air and water quality.”
A citizens bond advisory committee is in the midst of whittling down a list of projects for the Travis County Commissioners Court to approve this summer. The latest consolidated list features nearly 30 roadway and parks projects, but county heads said they are still seeking residents’ input on where improvements are needed.
“We made sure when we appointed that committee, that we had a great representation from all across the county geographically, but also different perspectives of people to serve on that committee,” he said. “I’m really happy with the efforts of the committee members, getting projects that are not just in western Travis County, but instead have a good sort of equal representation across the entire county.”
While the preliminary projects list includes enhancements to existing parks, it also highlights an investment into preservation efforts. Brown said it’s critical the county acts sooner, rather than later, to preserve those lands to maintain their environmental quality.
“There’s some creeks that do not have development near them, but they’re not making any more land in Travis County, and they’re not making any more creeks,” he said. “So it’s important that we invest now to preserve that water quality and help preserve our air quality by having the money to purchase that land and make agreements with landowners not to develop certain land.”
The bond committee has three remaining meetings left before a final bond package recommendation is made. County commissioners will consider and approve a proposal this summer to appear on voters’ November ballot.
Those interested can find more details about the proposed bond package, including a list of initial proposals, online. Members of the public can attend the bond committee meetings each Wednesday at 6 p.m. at 700 Lavaca St., in Room B on the first floor.
Residents can give feedback with an online form or by emailing CBAC2023@traviscountytx.gov.