April 17, 2008

SRPC to allow input on TTC

By: Chantel E. Gage
Waller County News Citizen
Copyright 2008

HEMPSTEAD - The Waller County Commissioners' Court approved a resolution authorizing the formation of a Waller County Sub-Regional Planning Commission, during Tuesday's meeting at the county courthouse.

"A Sub-Regional Planning Commission is a commission made up a group of people who must be members of the Houston-Galveston Area Council for Region 16," said Trey Duhon, vice president of Citizens for a Better Waller County.

The SRPC is being created under Chapter 391 under the Texas local government code. The code allows cities to form a planning commission that gives local governments the ability to have interlocal coordination when it comes to private property and land. This includes state agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation.

"The main reason why this commission is being created is because of the TransTexas Corridor. This will give us the ability to have input on how it is going to be done," Duhon said.

"TxDOT would be forced to give full disclosure of finances, contracts, and environmental reports on the TTC."

The TTC is a corridor that would basically stretch along U.S. Highway 59 from Texarkana/Shreveport, La. to Laredo and U.S. Highway 77 as well as U.S. Highway 281 in South Texas.

In some instances the corridor runs straight through Waller County citizen's property.

According from TxDOT, the governmental body is trying to create the corridor in order to facilitate and control the movement of people and goods in and through the state, providing economic enhancement, and addressing transportation needs for the next 20 to 50 years.

"The reason why we went straight to the city of Waller and Waller County is because of time. We are concerned that the government might change the law to restrict the authority that the Sub-Regional Planning Commission has," said Don Garrett, president of Citizens for a Better Waller County.

The requirements to create a SRPC are "a minimum of two cities or one city and one county, and once created, other entities can join," said Duhon.

Since the SRPC has been approved by the commissioners, Garrett and Duhon plan to ask other cities and local government entities to join the SRPC so that they can have direct input into state transportation projects which impact their jurisdiction.

© 2008 Community Newspapers Online: www.hcnonline.com

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