State funds could increase for Victoria County road repairs

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Jan. 14, 2014 at 5:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 13, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.

Victoria County Commissioners are outlining millions in road projects they hope the state will fund.

While the Texas Department of Transportation has set aside $619,724 for Victoria County roads damaged by oil and gas industry traffic, Commissioner Clint Ives is urging the court to go "above and beyond" that amount.

"In the second round of distribution, our allocation could increase," Ives said. "The second round is unknown, but we don't want to hinder what can be done in Victoria County."

Because some counties are opting out of the state grant, in which $225 million was divided among all counties, the remainder will be re-dispersed.

Ives said commissioners typically repair 2 to 4 miles of county roads annually in each precinct. The grant funding would allow each precinct to repair 2 or 3 additional miles.

Commissioner Danny Garcia estimated a mile of roadway costs $80,000 to $100,000 to repair.

The court has decided to divide its allocation equally among the precincts.

While Ives is looking to make repairs to Salem Road, Commissioner Gary Burns could "piecemeal" his projects.

County Judge Don Pozzi said he is hearing rumors that oil production may move east from Karnes and DeWitt counties, which could bring increased activity to Victoria County.

The next step in the grant application is to create a five-member advisory board and approve a transportation reinvestment zone, which commissioners would like to establish in the northwest corner of the county off Fortran Road.

The county will not be reimbursed for any road projects related to the grant until April. While work on areas such as Salem Road would likely not begin until that time, Ives said, normal road repairs will continue.



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