Llano County town hall meeting covers flood recovery, highway safety

Phil Reynolds/The Highlander
Llano County Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke (standing, center) calls a town hall meeting to order on Tuesday, April 16, at the county’s east annex on Ranch Road 1431. Topics at the meeting ranged from crime prevention to highway construction.

 

 

 

 

By Phil Reynolds
Contributing Writer

Topics at the Llano County Precinct 2 town hall Tuesday, April 16, may have been few in number but they were wide-ranging in scope.

Hosted by Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke at the Llano County East Annex, the town hall brought County Judge Ron Cunningham, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Area Engineer Cathy Kratz, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Maureen Riggs and Precinct 2 Constable Richard Harris to answer questions and make presentations.

Topics ranged from highway construction (Kratz) to crime prevention (Harris) to property taxes (Raschke). But the spontaneous applause came for Kratz when Raschke mentioned that the washed-away Ranch to Market Road 2900 bridge is nearly finished.

The bridge was destroyed by Llano River flood waters on Oct. 16. TxDOT officials have planned a ribbon cutting for the new bridge Friday, May 24, slightly more than seven months after the old bridge was swept away.

Officials have called the rapid stage agency response astonishing and Cunningham, a former federal official, told the crowd, “I can assure you, the federal government doesn’t move that fast.”

Kratz also reviewed plans for improvements to Texas 29 between its intersection with RM 1431 and Llano. She said she expects contracts to be signed for the first phase of the project around the beginning of June. Bids should be let for the fourth and final phase in December, 2021, she said.

Cunningham also reviewed federal responses to emergency aid after the flood. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved some government reimbursement but has refused individual homeowner payments.

Harris commended neighbors who have shown interest in the Neighborhood Watch program, which commits neighbors to keep an eye out for others who live nearby and report potential crimes. He said he’d spoken recently to several groups interested in the program, and encouraged residents to call for information, even if they weren’t interested in starting a formal program. . . .

Find the rest of this story in the Friday, April 19 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email lew@highlandernews.com.

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