Hays County Forms Ad Hoc Committee to Refine Road Project Costs for Potential Bond Referendum
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court Tuesday formed an ad hoc committee of staff and road consultants to help commissioners divide preliminary road project costs into “soft” costs – right-of-way acquisition, planning, design, environmental and engineering – and the “hard” costs of actual construction.
“The soft costs and construction costs of a project can vary considerably, in some cases the soft costs can actually be more than the hard costs, or vice versa,” said Mike Weaver, owner and president of Prime Strategies, Inc., the County’s lead road consultant agency. “Since we would want to get the most for taxpayers’ money by using state, federal, partnership and private funds to complement any voter-approved bond funds, it’s important to know what those different costs could be and how they could be funded with money other than from bonds.”
Committee members – Hays County Director of Transportation Jerry Borcherding, P.E., Assistant Transportation Director Adam Leach, E.I.T., Allen Crozier, P.E., HDR Engineering, Inc., and Mike Weaver, along with the County’s Chief of Staff Lon Shell – will work closely with TxDOT and local governments over the next several days to compile those figures.
“If we want to ask voters to vote for road bonds this November, we’re on a very tight deadline,” County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., said. “We need to gather this information quickly, have the committee members meet individually with each commissioner to discuss the best options for roads needed in each precinct, and be able to present that information to the public.”
The Court will also need to determine how funding will be requested – whether to ask voters to approve a large bond package that could encompass a “not to exceed” cost that includes all projects on the final list, or whether to phase-in funding by offering smaller amounts on a three-, five- and 10-year voting schedule.
“Either way, as we always do with any bond package, approved bonds would only be sold as needed for each project or group of projects,” Cobb said. “Pay as we go is less expensive, especially when combined with our ability to refinance bonds for better interest rates,”
The July 26 presentation can be read here or see the video presentation to the Court.