Transportation Department opts out of road transfer program
Sept. 3, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.
Victoria taxpayers will not foot the bill for the 48.2 miles of road the Texas Department of Transportation wanted to surrender.
Criticism from city and county officials at a Texas Transportation Commission meeting Thursday led department leaders to opt out of a proposed plan to transfer almost 1,900 miles of state-owned roads to city and county governments under a turnback program.
The program was expected to save the state agency $165 million annually and allow local jurisdictions to control driveway access, speed limits, on-street parking and road closures.
County Judge Don Pozzi said he would do anything possible to prevent the involuntary transfer in ownership.
"Myself and the commissioners went to the meeting and indicated we were not in favor of what they were doing," he said. "We were not going to agree to it."
Among roads listed in the proposal were 14.2 miles of road in Victoria County and 34 inside the city of Victoria.
Mayor Paul Polasek called the proposal an unfunded mandate, in an Aug. 24 Victoria Advocate article.
"It was unworkable from a financial standpoint," Polasek said in a later interview. "The city locally would be unable to absorb the cost financially."