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Proposed FM 110 will be on Hays November Ballot

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by Jacob Cottingham

The proposed Loop 110 has made it onto the November Road Bond ballot in Hays County. After lengthy debates over dividing the road project into two phases and how it would be funded, the Hays County Commissioner’s Court voted unanimously Tuesday to enter into an interlocal agreement with the city of San Marcos that would solve those issues.

 

The entire Loop 110 is projected to cost $28 million. Of that, $10 million will be for Phase 1, also known as the ‘City Segment’ and the other $18 million will go toward extending McCarty Lane up a curve to meet with SH 123. The city segment will be funded in part by a $2 million federal earmark, which Hays County will give to San Marcos, and $8 million the city will fund from its own budget. That means Loop 110 will be an $18 million project on the November ballot.

 

Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe steered the agreement through the often-contentious Hays County Court road debates. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz was present to provide public comment, along with Council Member Pam Couch and interim City Manager Collette Jamison. Ingalsbe had nothing but praise for her civic colleagues, “I really commend them, I think they did an excellent job, as the mayor stated there was the full support of the council and I think they really stepped up.”

 

The plan for FM 110 includes widening and extending McCarty Lane from IH-35 to FM 266 (Old Bastrop Hwy) and constructing ‘the Loop’ from McCarty Lane to SH 123.

 

The interlocal agreement delineates the responsibilities of the city and county in regard to the extension of McCarty Lane to FM 266. The city will design a segment consisting of 5-lane and 4-lane sections of 4,391.4 feet and 912.5 feet, respectively. The design will conform to TxDOT and county standards.

 

The city will build the road segment, totaling 6,170 feet and relocate existing utilities. Because a portion of the “city segment” lies outside the city limits, San Marcos will dedicate to the county maintenance funds for that portion of the road.

 

The county will pay $2 million to San Marcos for construction of the road from federal funds earmarked under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act. In addition, the county will use its own funds to extend McCarty Lane to Old Bastrop Highway. This portion of the road is the county segment. Hays County will be responsible for this 2,185-foot segment of a 4-lane road. The county must obtain right-of-way sufficient to construct the segment, as well as design and construct the road.

 

Bob Daigh, Austin District Engineer at TxDOT in a letter to San Marcos Mayor Narvaiz said that reimbursement to the county would only occur if the entire loop were finished. Some Commissioners questioned the policy. However, Ingalsbe told In Fact Daily that Special Counsel Mark Kennedy had been in contact with TxDOT during executive session, and the state agency had reiterated its decision to not reimburse Hays County until the entire loop was finished.

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