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Section A: General News


County’s Eagle Ford roads could get state help


County’s Eagle Ford roads could get state help
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR./Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com Members of the Wilson County Commissioners Court accept an American flag for the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III from Lester Moczygemba (back, left), president of Catholic Life Branch No. 76. Wilson County Clerk Eva Martinez serves as the organization’s secretary/treasurer. On hand for the presentation were commissioners (front, from left) Larry Wiley, Ricky Morales, Paul Pfeil, and Albert Gamez Jr., and County Judge Marvin Quinney.


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Wilson County News
January 2, 2014
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The Wilson County Commissioners Court is hoping to get a piece of a $225 million pie, as it continues toward applying for a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) grant. The grant, which is pursuant to Senate Bill 1747 enacted by the state Legislature in 2013, was the subject of a public hearing held during a Dec. 27 special commissioners court meeting.

The legislation frees up $225 million to repair public roads, bridges, and culverts directly impacted by the harvesting of petrochemicals within the Eagle Ford shale and the Permian Basin. Attorney Charles Kimbrough of the Austin-based law firm of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP said the state has allocated $500,000 of the funds to TxDOT for grant administration, with the remaining $224.5 million being distributed between the affected counties. Wilson County, he said, could receive an estimated $832,000.

Counties wishing to apply for the funds must do so between Feb. 7-14.

The Senate bill requires counties to establish energy-transportation reinvestment zones that include the affected roads. The commissioners have proposed the creation of three such zones. A formal vote is set for the Jan. 27 meeting.

Kimbrough said if the county receives the grant funds in the first year, the zones in subsequent years would be funded by a portion of ad valorem tax revenues. He said 66 percent of the increased taxable value of the roads would be placed in a restricted fund, earmarked specifically toward maintenance of that infrastructure.

In other business, the commissioners convened in closed session to discuss salary increases for employees who did not receive salary increases under the adopted fiscal year 2014 budget, voting unanimously after they reconvened to award 5 percent salary increases to those workers.

Treasurer Jan Hartl said after the meeting that only John Holcombe of the Information Technology department -- whose date of hire was prior to the approval of the increase --initially did not receive a raise.

Three former part-time workers, whose status recently was changed to full-time, also received increases. Hartl said they are employed in the treasurer’s office, emergency management office, and the county library.

Wilson County Commissioners Court special meeting, Dec. 27. In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; County Auditor Tom Dupnick, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., Assistant County Attorney Katherine Chapman, County Clerk Eva Martinez, Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek, Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office Coordinator Edwin Baker, and Library Director Nicki Stohr.

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