• November 28, 2014

Coryell commissioners discuss funds for road repairs

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — Coryell County commissioners on Monday targeted county roads northwest of Copperas Cove for about $134,000 in roadwork through a Texas Department of Transportation grant to improve roads affected by energy-sector activities.

Oak Springs and Bea Powell roads are named in a proposed County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone the commissioners discussed during a public hearing Monday.

Creation of a reinvestment zone is the first step in the TxDOT grant application to be submitted by Feb. 14.

Last year, the Legislature appropriated $225 million to help repair or improve county roads affected by energy-sector activities. Texas counties were allotted a share of the appropriation based on a TxDOT formula.

Coryell’s share could increase if other eligible counties do not apply for funding, County Judge John Firth said.

The county will provide a 20 percent match for projects under the grant. During the hearing, Mary Beth Harrell asked if the county budgeted for the 20 percent match.

Firth said the county will focus on roads that are already slated for work based on the road and bridge department’s priority list. He said the county’s share of the cost would probably come after October and would be included in the fiscal year 2015 budget.

Grimes Crossing, Harmon and Slater roads were discussed during the hearing and could be included in the final application, although Road and Bridge Administrator Allen Neel said repairs to a three-mile stretch of Oak Springs Road alone could exceed the county’s share of the grant.

The grant program will not affect property taxes, Firth said, but revenues from increased property valuation within the reinvestment zone for the next 10 years will be dedicated to road improvements in the county.

Commissioner Jack Wall suggested road material such as crushed rock could be used as part of the county’s match.

Commissioners will name an advisory board with two members of the public and up to three members from the oil and gas industry who pay taxes in the county.

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