Growth was the focus of Monday night’s community forum hosted by Killeen Councilman Michael Boyd.
The forum, which began at 5:30 p.m. at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, covered city hall activities, as well as updates from the city’s District 4, which Boyd represents, and news initiatives.
The meeting was attended by approximately 53 residents and staff combined.
Roads were a big deal, and Boyd pointed out that Bunny Trail and Watercrest Road were indeed funded. However, he also said that rebuilding and maintaining priority roads takes time. At this point, Jeff Reynolds, executive director of Killeen Public Works, said repairing the streets of Killeen is a daunting task.
“Every street in Killeen needs some form of upkeep,” Reynolds said. “If you don’t see it happening in your area, know that it is happening.”
Bunny Trail was a hot topic, with several residents asking how the road project was going.
Deputy city manager Danielle Singh said the city had done extensive studies and surveys for the causeway, and Killeen was leaning towards reducing the thoroughfare to a three-lane road. This is how the Texas Department of Transportation will allow the city to install traffic lights, which it currently cannot because the traffic density on the road is not high enough.
Crime was another major issue, and Killeen Police Department Chief Charles Kimble and Lt. Michael Sousounis spoke about crime in District 4 and throughout the city.
According to Sousounis, the majority of crimes committed in District 4 are motor vehicle burglaries, the vast majority of which are cars that are unlocked or left running in a convenience store.
Sousounis says the best way to reduce crime is for residents to lock their car doors. Additionally, Sousounis said a significant number of burglaries occur in cars with guns.
“Don’t leave your guns in your car,” he said.
Joe Brown, Executive Director of Recreation Services for the town, provided a brief update on the new Killeen Parks Master Plan. Brown made special mention of an upcoming “parks dedication ordinance,” which is a process for individuals to donate land for public use. According to Brown, this ordinance, once passed, will play a crucial role in providing much-needed acreage for Killeen, which is “terribly behind” in terms of park acreage.
Karl Green, regional manager for Oncor, said Monday the company recognizes the significant number of power outages that have occurred near Goodnight Ranch. Greene said a number of outages were caused by a “floating conductor” shorting lines.
Council members Mellisa Brown, Ken Wilkerson and Rick Williams attended the meeting, as well as Councilor Michael Boyd. According to the charter of the town of Killeen, this constitutes a quorum. The city did not post a public notice indicating that a quorum would be reached at the meeting.
Speaking after the meeting, Boyd pointed out that Wilkerson and Williams both live in District 4 and attended the meeting as residents.