McLennan County leaders are moving forward with the second planned $10 million bond aimed at three large road projects, among other work.

The county has been working toward improvements to Speegleville Road, Surrey Ridge Lane and Chapel Road.

The county issued the first bond of slightly less than $10 million last summer. The plan is to issue the second bond this summer and follow with the third next year to cover the balance of the projects, said Mark McLiney, the county’s financial adviser with SAMCO Capital Markets.

A vote Tuesday allows commissioners to publish required notices for the bond to county residents. The final step for the bond is scheduled for Aug. 1, McLiney said.

Much of the bond revenue will also go to correcting violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act the U.S. Department of Justice identified at county facilities.

Commissioners last year issued the certificate of obligation with a 1.97 percent interest rate, which was lower than the expected 3 percent interest rate. About the same time, the county learned it scored an Aa1 bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service, which they said demonstrates a strong ability to meet financial commitments.

Road projects

The largest road project includes rebuilding a four-mile stretch of Speegleville Road from State Highway 6 to the Middle Bosque River in Precinct 4.

Other work includes widening Surrey Ridge Lane from Interstate 35 to Moonlight Drive in Precinct 1 and work on Chapel Road, in Precinct 4. Last year, Walker Partners reported that the Chapel Road corridor is predicted to be one of the highest-growth areas in the county, showing a growth rate three times the pace projected for the rest of the county.

Six months into fiscal year 2017, the county is on track with planned revenues and expenses, first assistant county auditor Frances Bartlett said.

The county budgeted more than $98.81 million in revenue and has received 77.6 percent of that as of March 31, Bartlett said. Property taxes mostly come in during the first part of the year, so receiving more than half the total is expected this early, she said. Still, the county is likely to exceed revenue projections, which include $67.1 million in property taxes and $17 million in sales taxes, she said.

The county also has spent 46.6 percent of its planned $92 million in expenses, she said.

Meanwhile, County Auditor Stan Chambers reminded commissioners they are two months away from the Aug. 22 meeting scheduled to adopt the budget for fiscal year 2018, which starts Oct 1.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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