Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - Thursday, April 10, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
County OKs resolution opposing TTC proposal
Polk County Enterprise - April 2008
LIVINGSTON – A capacity crowd of Polk County residents attended Tuesday’s Commissioner Court meeting in support of a proposed resolution stating the county’s opposition to the 1,200- foot wide Trans Texas Corridor. More than 50 local business people packed the courtroom when spokesman Bob Dockens asked commissioners to support the resolution that encourages the Texas Department of Transportation to take the “no action” option in the I-69/TTC plan. The resolution, approved unanimously by commissioners Tuesday, offers support of widening the existing U.S. Highway 59 and upgrade to Interstate highway standards. A corridor that includes multiple vehicle lanes, train transportation and utility right-of-way would negatively affect rural Texas, splitting farms and ranches as well as negatively impacting county roads and emergency services within our county, the resolution says.
“The proposed path of a Trans- Texas Corridor in Polk County has already negatively affected future sales of homes and real estate in the current study area,” the resolution said. While the state of Texas does have need of future transportation projects, we do not understand the necessity of such an immense project that would so negatively impact the most precious resources that this State has, the resolution added. The resolution asks the Texas Department of Transportation to work closely with local residents and offi cials to address local mobility plans and fi nish projects within the existing right-of-ways. Although Polk County has supported the I-69 initiative which was initially designed to seek state and federal assistance to transform U.S. 59 into interstate status by utilizing and expanding the existing right-of-way, the court went on record Tuesday as opposing the building of a 1,200 foot wide Trans-Texas Corridor in Polk County. The court does support the no action alternative for that project but does support the upgrade of U.S. 59 to interstate standards and designating that highway as I-69. Local Realtor Gaylon Rushing told commissioners that “everybody’s wound up about TTC.” “I really appeal to you guys.
There are a lot of factors involved. In the end, most of us consumers, all we know is what we hear here and there and at the coffee shop,” Rushing said. “The issue of foreign involvement really bothers me,” Rushing added. “Expanding 59 is OK, but if I have to pay a toll to go buy a pair of socks in Houston that’s not.” On a motion by Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet and seconded by Pct. 1 Commissioner Robert Willis, the resolution was approved unanimously. During the informational reports portion of the agenda, Sheriff Kenneth Hammack told commissioners that housing inmates that exceeded the capacity of the Polk County jail cost $18,771 for the month of March. As of Tuesday morning, 104 inmates were being held in Livingston and 31 held in contract facilities. The inmate population includes 77 men and 58 women. The Polk County jail’s facilities for female inmates are limited to 25. Five women are being held in Jasper, 25 at IAH and one in the Liberty County jail. The average daily population at