Wilco allocates millions to capital projects

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Williamson County Commissioners Court allocated more than $57 million in bonds and cash reserves to various capital projects Nov. 3.

County voters approved issuing $65 million in certificate of obligation bonds in May. The court allocated some of the bond money this year, decreasing the total to $55.6 million.

On Nov. 3, the court allocated $51.6 million to projects such as repairs and modifications to the Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 building, the Georgetown Annex, the Williamson County Animal Shelter and the Williamson County Jail.

Most of the projects had already received some bond funding, but the amount allocated Nov. 3 was needed to fully pay for the projects, said Williamson County Budget Manager Ashlie Koenig. Paying for the leftover projects will leave a remaining balance of $3.9 million in the bank.

“Which is good, because if you have any overruns or changes, it’s good to keep a little money in the bank,” Koenig said.

County Judge Dan Gattis wanted to leave the remaining funds untouched for now in case it is needed for unanticipated costs during construction phases. The other county commissioners agreed.

“We’re building a lot of buildings, so I think we need to leave that money right there,” he said. “With this much construction going on, four million is not a lot of dollars. I’m nervous about trying to allocate all of that right now.”

Other funds

At the same meeting, the commissioners also chose to allocate $5.8 million in cash ending and settlement money to other capital projects.

The court had $3.1 million in cash available that was left over from capital projects that were completed in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and had received $2.7 million from a parking garage settlement, Koenig said.

The court used the remaining funds for projects such as the Dam 7 Regional Trail Replacement, the Williamson County Expo Center, a remodel of court space in the Justice center, and repairs to the Williamson County Jail and Sam Bass Ambulance Station.