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DeWitt County creates transportation reinvestment zones

Sonny Long

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.

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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