Lubbock County Commissioners considering SIB loan for Loop 88 costs

Lubbock County Commissioners considering SIB loan for Loop 88 costs

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Commissioners Court met in work session Monday afternoon to hear a presentation from TxDOT about the Texas State Infrastructure Bank loan program.

Commissioners indicated they are considering using a State Infrastructure Bank loan to pay for right of way costs for Loop 88. The city of Lubbock and Lubbock County each must pay $7.25 million of the costs of right of way for the anticipated outer loop project.

The right of way under consideration is for the first phase of the outer loop from Highway 87 west to Highway 62/82 (Brownfield Highway).

An environment study must be done prior to the purchase of the right of way. TxDOT representatives said that process can take six months to a year.

The rate the county would pay for the loan, if obtained, depends upon the credit rating of the county and the term of the note. Lubbock County has what TxDOT considers a "strong credit rating of AA+."

County Commissioner Bill McCay asked TxDOT officials if the SIB program can be used for paying to widen Woodrow Road.

Officials answered that a different part of the SIB process could be used for funding some portion of the costs of widening Woodrow Road.

Commissioner Patti Jones, who testified in Austin against property tax reform, said the county needs to know what the legislature does with SB 2 before doing anything and Commissioner McCay agreed.

"We need to see if the legislature approves [property tax] caps in the July Special Session," said Jones.

"What the legislature does tends to limit what we can do," McCay said.

Timing is critical if SIB funds are going to be used for the Loop 88 project.

"If we're going to use the SIB we need to get started so we don't delay the purchase of the right of way," said TxDOT engineer Kylan A. Francis.

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