LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council is set to decide Tuesday on the issues it will support and oppose during the upcoming 2021 legislative sessions. Aside from the topics that surface yearly, City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said securing support and funding for major transportation infrastructure and federal COVID-19 relief funding is top of mind.
“We’re still working on pieces of it,” Atkinson said of the City’s Legislative Package, “I would note that this is the main work session item for the City Council tomorrow. So, I think there’ll be good robust discussion, and that’s going to actually then add, subtract, multiply and divide to end up in the actual document that they pass.”
Atkinson told KCBD he doesn’t see the pandemic influencing much of what they expect from the Texas legislative session. However, he will work with the Council in supporting the distribution of federal financial assistance from Congress direct to municipalities.
“Lubbock was in the group of cities that the dollars flowed from the Treasury to the state and then, ultimately, from the state to the cities and counties,” Atkinson said.
He plans to consider the main topics of extending Interstate 27 and securing further funding for Loop 88 with the Council.
In regard to I-27, a process has already begun and has left the Texas Legislature with the decision to provide a designation for the possible expansion both North and South through Texas.
“One of the items we will push on our support list is to support those efforts to make the designation and to secure the funding needed to do so,” Atkinson said. “You’ll probably see another [item] come out from us to ensure that the funding for Loop 88 continues to come in from the State. Loop 88 is a long-term project. This can be a huge project for our region and we don’t want to see that start and then, ultimately, the State not be able to continue to fund it.”
Atkinson expects a large focus to be on those topics when the City Council meets Tuesday for a work session and regular meeting. He said the Legislative Package is vital to provide the Council, city staff, public and legislatures with a clear view of where Lubbock stands on the issues.
“This is ultimately [the City Council’s] statement of what we’re looking towards in the legislative session and it needs to be,” Atkinson said. “That work session, I think, gives them that opportunity. They may take everything that staff recommends, they may take some off, they may add some of their own, but this is their work.”
The work session begins at 2:30 p.m. on December 1. The meeting will be held virtually and can be accessed by the following information: Internet/Video Link: https://zoom.us/j/97445696495 or Teleconference Phone #s: US: +1-346-248-7799 ; +1-669-900-9128 ; +1-312-626-6799 ; +1-646-558-8656 ; +1-253-215-8782 ; +1-301-715-8592 Enter ID #: 974 4569 6495 #