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DeWitt County creates transportation reinvestment zones

By Sonny Long
Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2013 at 6:31 a.m.

DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler reviews proposed lines for three county energy transportation reinvestment zones during Monday's commissioners court meeting. Creation of the zones is a mandatory step to be eligible for about $4.5 million in state funds for road repairs. Commissioners approved creating the zones and named members to advisory boards.

DEWITT COUNTY CETRZ ZONES ADVISORY BOARDS

Creation of a county energy transportation reinvestment zone also requires creation of advisory boards for the zones. Zones run approximately along county precinct boundaries. DeWitt County commissioners approved the following board members:

• CETRZ No. 1 - Commissioner Curtis Afflerbach

Public member: Warren Seidel

Public member: David Arndt

Industry rep.: Ward Belanger (Pioneer Natural Resources)

Industry rep.: Rodney Green (ConocoPhillips)

Industry rep.: To be determined (BHP Billiton)

• CETRZ No. 2 - Commissioner James Pilchiek

Public member: Rudy Martinez

Public member: Al Janak

Industry rep.: Ward Belanger (Pioneer Natural Resources)

Industry rep.: Rodney Green (ConocoPhillips)

Industry rep.: To be determined (BHP Billiton)

• CETRZ No. 3 - Commissioner James Kaiser

Public member: Ted Dlugosch

Public member: Harlan Metting

Industry rep.: Ward Belanger (Pioneer Natural Resources)

Industry rep.: Cesar Alvarez (Statoil)

Industry rep.: To be determined (BHP Billiton)

SOURCE: DeWitt County Commissioners Court.

CUERO - The DeWitt County Commissioners Court has ordered the creation of three county energy transportation reinvestment zones.

Creation of the zones is a requirement to apply for an allocated $4,559,074 in state grant funds approved by the most recent Texas Legislature and administered by the Texas Department of Transportation.

"The CETRZ maps closely resemble the map of Railroad Commission permitted wells in the county," said DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler.

In DeWitt County, the newly created zones run mostly along county precinct lines, with Precinct 4, which includes the area from Yoakum to Cuero, being the lone precinct to not be included in a CETRZ.

"At least for the time being, the zones exclude Precinct 4," Fowler told commissioners during court Monday morning. "Not that there's not oil-field activity in that area; there's just not the prolific property value growth."

The zones also exclude the municipalities of Cuero, Yoakum and Yorktown.

The purpose of creating a CETRZ, other than for the initial grant application, is to fund future road repairs.

Any increase over the property tax base value at the time of the creation of the CETRZ is dedicated to roads.

In addition, those funds are not used in calculating effective or rollback tax rates. Creation of the zones will not raise or lower anyone's tax rate, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The legislature approved $225 million to be distributed among the state's 254 counties using a funding formula that includes issue of overweight truck permits, oil and gas production taxes, well completion and salt water disposal activity.

Counties must provide a 20 percent match for the state grant funds.

The county also hired Naismith Engineering to assist with transportation projects and grant applications.

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