By JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County proceeded with plans to win state grant funding for roads damaged by oil and gas producers last week by holding a public hearing on the creation of one or more County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones.
Engineers also submitted 11 road projects to include in the zones, including three in Precinct No. 4: East Bankhead Highway, White Settlement Road and Clear Lake Road.
Legislators have required that counties create CETRZs in order to compete for $225 million in grants they have set aside for fiscal year 2014.
A CETRZ surrounds a planned transportation project and captures the new property taxes generated inside it, according to TxDOT.
“The CETRZ will not increase or decrease property taxes,” Judge Mark Riley said. “It will utilize taxes from the increase in value within that to go strictly for transportation projects. The money generated in the zone cannot be transferred to the General Fund or used for any other purpose.”
The grant estimated for Parker County currently is about $1.27 million Riley said, with the county ponying up about $254,000, a 20 percent match.
“There is a possibility that more money would be available to apply for, because there will be some counties that aren’t going to apply I’ve been told,” he said, “but that would come later in the process.”
Chris Bosco, of Freese and Nichols, who has worked with commissioners to prioritize county road projects, named 11 roads as candidates for the CETRZ application. The improvements — which consist of 2 inches of asphalt along the length of the roads and 8 inches of flex base on base failure areas — total $11.5 million.
“We’re submitting more than what is allocated,” Bosco said, referencing the $1.2 million estimate.
“If other counties that are eligible elect not to submit, there could be opportunity for that to go up. We want to make sure we’ve submitted well above our amount, so we don’t have to re-evaluate.”
East Bankhead Highway top priority
East Bankhead Highway, from FM Road 1187 to Ranch House Road, was listed as number one on a prioritized project list presented by Bosco. Engineers estimated the total repair cost at $1.07 million with the county paying $213,920.
White Settlement Road, from FM Road 3325 to the county line, was listed as priority number five. Repairs are estimated at $1.75 million, with the county contributing $350,860.
Clear Lake Road, from the Weatherford city limits to Airport Road, was number ten on the list, with a $452,000 price tag and the county paying $90,440.
Other projects listed and prioritized were:
Pct 1: Veal Station Road(8), Old Springtown Road(6), Knob Road(3), Harms Drive(11).
Pct.2: Advance Road(2), Adelle Road(7).
Pct.3: Fox Road(9), Thompson Road(4).
For all but one project, the road’s right-of-way serves as the CETRZ.
“Since the Precinct 1 grounds actually are adjacent, one of the parts of the application is to include the road’s right-of-way and one parcel along the road,” Bosco said. ”We chose that the Precinct 1 grounds, the property the county already owns, be encompassed in Veal Station to meet those requirements.”
Riley said the CETRZ boundaries would be finalized at the next meeting.
Commissioners must wait 30 days after the public hearing to authorize the grant application, now due March 14. An advisory board, comprising oil and gas industry representatives and county residents, must also be appointed.
“Did you say that’s a 20 percent match?” Dusty Renfro asked after the presentation. “If that number grows on us it could be significant.”
“I don’t think we have to use all of it,” Riley replied.
Auditor Mike Rhoten asked if the county’s matching funds could be in-kind instead of cash, with the donation of man-hours, materials or equipment, and the judge replied that he would ask the law firm hired to submit the application.
The grant can be used to pay for engineering services as well as legal fees, Bosco said.
East Bankhead Highway a top priority
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
SPRINGTOWN – After finding that a breaker manufactured by a company with a history of issues contributed to a house fire Friday, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott is urging Parker County residents with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers to call an electrician and get them checked for safety.
Candidates have filed for city, school board elections
Filings for May 10 city and school board elections are now complete. A summary follows:
On the Aledo ISD school board incumbents David Davis, in Place 6, and Hoyt Harris, in Place 7, have both filed for re-election, each drawing one or more opponents. Farida Goderya has filed for Place 6, opposite Davis, and Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers have filed for Place 7, opposite Harris.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce will welcome retired USAF SMSGT Vernon M. Anderson, Jr., senior technical instructor, Bell Helicopter, Integrated Operations Engineering Support Technical Training Department, as the key note speaker for the March 12 luncheon.
The Sunny Side
WILLOW PARK – Peppered with anecdotes from his stellar baseball career, former Texas Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg gave witness to his Christian faith and told how it changed his life before a crowd of about 200 at the recent annual Trinity Christian Academy dinner and fundraiser.
Aledo ISD approves suicide prevention program
The Aledo School Board approved the LifeLines Suicide Prevention Program in February, lining up with a recommendation from the Student Health Advisory Council, which has spent a year reviewing choices.
Aledo ISD could save up to $2 million
Expecting to save close to $2 million, Aledo ISD trustees recently voted to let district staff pull the trigger on a bank-qualified refunding of some of the district’s outstanding bonds once market conditions are optimum.
Don't feed the deer!
HUDSON OAKS — The city council recently passed an ordinance banning the feeding of deer.
Parker County Sheriff's Report Feb. 27-March 2
Burglary of a vehicle
Deputies were dispatched to the 300 block of James Street in Aledo shortly after 6 p.m. regarding the burglary of a vehicle.
ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Is it too early to start a vegetable garden?
Considering our winter temperatures this year, that’s a good question. When it comes to a successful vegetable garden, timing is everything. The goal in Texas is to have most of your vegetable crops mature before the temperatures soar in mid-summer.
EXTENSION NEWS: Getting more zzzs could help you lose some lbs.
We spend about one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Sleep also helps our immune system to resist illness and disease, increases response times in emergencies, improves our mood and feelings of wellness and gives us the energy we need to be more active and alert.
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