January 30, 2009

TNT Committee meets with TxDOT concerning I-69, TTC issues

The Groveton News

The Trinity-Neches Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission (TNT) met for the second time with TxDOT last week in Trinity.

TxDOT arrived with a large contingent of representatives. Among them were District Engineer, Dennis Cooley out of Lufkin and two other engineers, Doug Booher, an Environmental Specialist with TxDOT, brought two consultants from PBSJ and Joe Krejci with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Texas Division.

TNT also had full representation: the Mayors of Trinity, Corrigan, and Groveton, representatives from the Commission’s Water Suppliers, School Boards, Cattle Ranchers, Members-At-Large and concerned citizens.

TNT gave Mr. Cooley and Mr. Booher a letter formally requesting that TxDOT rescind the I-69 Trans-Texas Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Study and that TxDOT start the entire process over including a study of the existing facilities alternative.

Connie Fogle said that TNT’s legal council, Fred Kelly Grant, Attorney and President of Stewards of the Range, prepared a Legal Analysis that was given to TxDOT, which stated:

“The Administration Must Resolve Objections as to Consistency Raised by the Sub-regional Planning Commission Prior to Issuing a Final EIS for Public Review and Comment”.

Fogle said, “If, in fact the TTC is dead, why waste more time and money sending a document to the Federal Highway Administration for approval of a project they do not intend to build?”

Three TNT Members-At–Large presented information to TxDOT: Dee Dee King gave a presentation on what the I-69 TTC will do to some of our Historical Cemeteries and Archeological Sites, Bill Fogle discussed the noise factor, which will make it un-inhabitable to live within one mile of the Corridor and Craig Whealy discussed numerous environmental issues.

Also on the agenda TNT approved forming a Transportation Planning Committee to study the mobility needs of the three cities that make up the Commission. Each city will have a separate Public Forum in February to gather input.

Fogle feels that TNT is very fortunate to have the guidance of The American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range helping their Commission through the Coordination process.

© 2009 East Texas News News: www.easttexasnews.com

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