County talks grants, agreements, High Speed Rail

Commissioner's signed a resolution against the High Speed Rail, something many other counties are reportedly also doing, at the court's Feb. 28 meeting. The resolution shows Freestone County's “intent to decline to discontinue, abandon, close, vacate, or alter a county road in connection with the proposed High Speed Rail Project.”

“All along they have told us they would not disturb any of our county roads,” said County Judge Linda Grant. “That's questionable to me. They are trying to say that they have eminent domain and what that would mean to us has yet to be defined.”

According to the project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the proposed route shows there will be at least eight country roads – state, farm to market, and private roads – in the rail's traveling area.

In other county news, commissioner's agreed to sponsor the Butler Water Supply Corporation as the board seeks a grant to change old water meters to electronic meters. Board Director Tony Brackens said a 2019-2020 Texas Community Development Block Grant Program is available on a first come, first serve basis.

“We've strived over the years to operate so we can provide good water quality to our customers,” said Brackens. The grant is available through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The court tabled an agreement sent by Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG) in which Freestone County was asked to pay $2,714 for an Air Quality Program that works on the emissions levels in this area.

Commissioner's tabled the agenda item until more information is given on the benefits of this program for Freestone County. Some funding has been taken from the program and HOTCOG is now asking all member counties to pay a percentage.

 

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