WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Fritz Park in Hutto is finally seeing improvements seven years after voters approved them in a bond election.
“Cities have a tough job in prioritizing projects and especially during an economic downturn, which took place shortly before that,” explains Larry Foos, director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Hutto. “And they did not want to tax the voters with selling additional debt for the project.”
The $3.2 million project includes moving the football and baseball fields, and upgrades to the concession stands and restrooms.
The original plan included batting cages, a playground, and more trails, amenities that have since been scrapped.
“In an effort to save costs, in respect for the taxpayers, what we’ve done is re-routed the existing, popular cottonwood trail, and we’re looking at additional ways to fund the playground back into the project,” explains Foos.
Fritz Park renovations are expected to be done in the spring.
Georgetown is also seeing a delay. Voters approved expanding FM 971 from two to four lanes from Austin Avenue to SH 130 tollway in a 2008 bond election. The city says they were supposed to get money from TxDOT to help fund the expansion. TxDOT says FM 971 is not a top priority project.
However, the city of Georgetown is funding a portion of FM 971 that includes a quarter-mile segment from Austin Ave. to Gann Street. This is to realign the intersection for the future Northwest Boulevard extension and bridge. Work for the project is in the design phase. The city anticipates starting the project once a funding agreement is done with TxDOT
Neighbors who live off FM 971 say these projects need to get moving.
“It’s pretty important if they want to keep it so people can get to work and back and forth,” says neighbor Dale Gamble. “The traffic is really getting bad.”
The city of Hutto recently formed a bond committee. Members will hear from city council Thursday night on priorities for future projects. So voters could see another bond election in May.