|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Road tentatively reinstated into county system may never have been instated
COLDSPRING – San Jacinto County Commissioners’ Court voted to tentatively reinstate a road they think might have been maintained by the county once upon a time but “dropped at some point” from the county’s list of county maintained roads. The motion to reinstate Old Salem Church Road as a county road was passed by a three to two vote – Pct. 1 Commissioner Laddie McAnally and Pct. 2 Commissioner Donny Marrs abstained after McAnally asked the court if there is any documentation showing the county’s previous maintenance of the road. San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner said he can’t find documentation when the county abandoned the road and said it is not on Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) list of county roads. “Someone took it off the road list as a county maintained road,” he said. Although no one could recall if Old Salem Church Road has ever been maintained by the county, including Pct. 3 Commissioner Butch Moody, the motion to reinstate it as a county maintained road was passed by Moody, Pct. 4 Commissioner Mark Nettuno and Judge Faulkner, pending Moody getting an affidavit signed by his foreman stating that it has been maintained in the past by the county. Old Salem Church Road is located in Moody’s precinct near FM 1725 and FM 3081. McAnally questioned support of the motion and was not satisfied when San Jacinto County 911 Addressing Coordinator Judy Eaton could not tell him how or who might have deleted the road from the county road list. According to Eaton, “3.5 miles of Old Salem Church Road was dropped to 1.25 miles in 2009. At some point they changed it.” “Who is they?” asked McAnally. “I’m not against helping people but I want it to be legal.” There was no explanation for “they” from anyone. On another agenda item, commissioners voted to allow two assistant district attorneys in the San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney’s office to share the responsibility of handling duties for victims of crime. In place of hiring another crime victim coordinator in the DA’s office, CDA Richard Countiss asked that his two assistants share that responsibility as well as part of the $30,000 plus an additional $6,000 to $8,000 in benefits his crime victim coordinator was paid. Countiss said he would like for each assistant to get $12,000 of that salary and that would put about $12,000 back into the county’s budget. “This is not a raise but additional compensation for the additional work load they will share in the evenings and on weekends,” Countiss said. Last year was the first year the county had to fund the entire salary for a crime victim. It was previously funded by a state grant. The position is mandated by the State of Texas. “Much of the coordinator’s work is related to the cases we are handling. We looked at the responsibilities and decided it would work well to integrate this into the work of the prosecutors,” Countiss told the court. Commissioners voted not to rename Bob Christian Road in Precinct 4, Waterwood. “I knew Bob Christian very well,” Judge Faulkner said. “The road wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.” According to Faulkner, Christian had a couple hundred acres on Palmetto Creek since the 1940’s. When Lake Livingston came in the water cut him off from his farm and he had no way to get to his property to feed his cattle and take care of his farm other than by water. He sued the State of Texas and Trinity River Authority and after about 15 or 20 years of fighting, he finally prevailed TRA had to provide him a road into his property which they did through Waterwood. “The Russell family owns the property now. I have ultimate respect for the Russell family but they may be picking the wrong road to change. There are other roads in Waterwood,” Faulkner said. The request was to change the name of the road from Bob Christian Road to Marjorie Russell Road.