Victoria moves forward with state road program

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Dec. 16, 2013 at 6:16 a.m.
Updated Dec. 17, 2013 at 6:17 a.m.

Victoria County officials will move forward on the grant process to repair county roads damaged by oil and gas industry traffic.

While the commissioners court opened a public meeting Dec. 9 on the issue, they will vote Dec. 18 on hiring a consultant and grant administrator for what Commissioner Clint Ives called an "arduous" process.

After Monday's meeting, Ives said there is not a cost estimate for contracts with Naismith Engineering as consultant or Allison, Bass and Associates as administrator.

Of the $225 million in state funding to help counties offset the damage from the increase in heavy traffic, Victoria County is eligible for an estimated $619,724.

Ives said Naismith Engineering is also working with DeWitt County, which is eligible for $4.56 million.

The workshop meeting Wednesday will give Naismith Engineering a chance to give their recommendations and commissioners an opportunity to review both contracts, he said.

County Judge Don Pozzi said if hired, the companies would represent the county throughout the grant.

"This firm is doing it for other counties, too," Pozzi said.

However, officials have a tight deadline to apply. The cutoff date is Feb. 14.

Along with identifying the sources of road degradation, the county would need to hold two public hearings and create a County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone. Naismith Engineering would help with this portion.

Formation of reinvestment zones requires an advisory board of directors for each zone with up to three members from the oil and gas industry and two public members.

Once the zone is formed, the property tax baseline is set, and the revenue generated above that baseline - due to an increase in property values - is dedicated to transportation projects within the zone.



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia