Hays County pushes for bond to improve emergency response times

Hays County pushes for bond to improve emergency response times. (KXAN Photo)
Hays County pushes for bond to improve emergency response times. (KXAN Photo)

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hays County leaders are hoping voters will turn out this November and vote “yes” to two bond propositions totaling $237.8 million.

Proposition 1 looks at public safety facilities, emergency services and technology. The total project cost for the proposition is $106.4 million. If passed, it will fund an improved Hays Emergency Response Operations Center, build a new, expanded law enforcement center as well as enhance security, providing renovations and an expansion of the county jail.

Proposition 2 will fund transportation safety and mobility improvements across the county. The total project cost for the proposition is $131.4 million. It will help improve drainage and low water crossings as well as making safety improvements on high traffic county roads.

“The strain on our roadways is evident by the growth and we need to respond to that,” said Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith. Smith says fixing the roads is a bonus for drivers, but it could also help save lives when it comes to emergency personnel responding to a call.

“There are a lot of areas that it’s difficult for fire trucks and ambulances to get through especially in peak travel times, and it obviously delays the response to that call,” said Smith.

If the bond is passed, a list of 24 roads throughout the county will be improved. The changes range from drainage improvements to widening lanes.

“It helps public safety in general by minimizing the motor vehicle collisions, decreasing the traffic congestion, allowing for safer roadways for fire trucks, and ambulances and law enforcement to get to the calls that they need to, to be able to help the citizens,”  said Smith.

Proposition 2 reads that $22.5 million will go towards helping with drainage and low water crossing improvements, environmental mitigation and conservation in aid of roads pedestrian walkway and bicycle transportation related to roads.

Financial planners say all the work can be completed without raising the current tax rate, the only downside is a little more construction on the road. You can read more about proposition 1 and 2 here. 

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