Victoria Council approves transportation plan, promoting of bonds | Information

The Victoria City Council unanimously voted to approve funding for capital improvement projects and a contract for the development of a new active transportation master plan Tuesday.

With the council approving the resolution, the city will sell $2.45 million in certificates of obligation bonds to fund a portion of the four-year capital improvements project list, which includes funding for Spring Creek Road and Dairy Road reconstruction and an extension for Wagner Way.

In addition to the certificates of obligation, the city is also selling $12.4 million in revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects.

The funds from the revenue bonds are expected to go to Dairy Road; roadway and utility reconstruction for Tanglewood Drive, the College Park neighborhood and Bon Aire Avenue; and a water meter replacement program, according to the city council’s agenda.

The city is set to go to market in January, sell the debt in February and receive the funds by March, said Assistant Finance Director Wesley Janecek.

“This is in line with the anticipated start time with each of these projects,” Janecek said.

The council also approved a resolution to reimburse city funds with the bonds should the project start earlier or if there is a delay in the sale of the bonds so the project can start as scheduled.

In such an event, any funds from the general fund or water-wastewater fund would be reimbursed for any expenses related to this project should they occur.

Mayor Jeff Bauknight expressed curiosity about what sort of interest rate the city would be looking at with the current market.

“There is a thought that some of what the Fed has been doing over the course of 2022 is going to start to catch up and hopefully tamping down inflation. So while yes the Fed has been increasing rates, and municipal bond rates have been following suit , since the beginning of October we’ve been seeing bond rates come back down by more than ½ of 1%,” said Dustin Traylor, RBC Capital Markets managing director. “If we were to enter the market today on these bonds, we would probably have an interest rate on either series somewhere between 4.25% and somewhere north of 4.5%. Had we been in the market a month ago, we would have been pushing on That 5% number. So rates have really come back in the city’s favor. Fingers crossed, hopefully, that continues by the time we price.”

Staff added that the city is in good shape ahead of selling bonds.

In other business, the city approved a contract for $100,000 with Alliance Transportation Group to develop a new active transportation master plan.

The most recent plan, Paseo de Victoria, was created in 2012, but lacked the analysis necessary to apply for infrastructure grants at the state and federal level to bring it to fruition, said Julie Fulgham, director of development services.

“It didn’t have the analysis of where people are walking and where the gaps are,” Fulgham said. “If you have a plan in place, it makes you eligible for implementation grants, which is actual money to build the infrastructure. So build the sidewalks, trails, networks, crossings, things like that — the actual expensive stuff.”

The city knows the infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists is lacking, which is why a robust plan to address the needs is necessary, she said.

“We know people want to hike and bike to amenities like parks, but not just parks, also retail areas and sometimes social services, places where people who don’t have vehicles need to get to,” Fulgham said. “All those points are going to be considered in our active transportation plan.”

Julie Fulgham, director of development services, presents the process for the contract and need for a new active transportation master plan Tuesday at City Council.

Kyle Cotton was born and raised in San Antonio and graduated from San Antonio College and the University of Texas at Arlington. Cotton has covered economic development, health care, finance, government, technology, oil and gas and higher education.

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