The roads around the Circuit of the Americas race track in Southeast Travis County could be getting an upgrade, but first, commissioners have to decide how to pay for them.
During their weekly meeting Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners asked leaders with the City of Austin if they could help come up with the cash to pay for road improvements. Part of the county's plan would extend Kellam to Highway 71 and widen Elroy Road to a four-lane thoroughfare.
"I think the City of Austin should play a major league role in this, a major league," County Commissioner Ron Davis said.
Austin officials say they have already laid out upcoming bonds and there isn't room in the budget for this project.
Road expansion will cost a lot of money and the county can't force the city to pay. Without a partner, commissioners need to decide whether to eat the cost or wait for a bond election.
"In the meantime, prices are going up,” Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gomez said. "Do we delay until we get ready for the bond election or do we move?”
Commissioners Davis and Gerald Daugherty believe the Formula One racing venue Circuit of The Americas and the City of Austin stand to benefit the most from upgraded roadways. More development and better access mean more tax revenue for the City of Austin who, so far, haven’t pitched in to help.
"We need the partnerships in this thing with people that have the money,” Commissioner Ron Davis said. “I'd hate to see Travis County bore the whole deal and we benefit less than anybody."
Commissioners tabled the issue until they attain a figure on how much the project will cost. They expect to get that number in a couple of weeks.
"Maybe COTA needs to put some money on the table,” Davis said. “I don't know, but I know this City of Austin, you need to help us out.”