Howard County Roads Pursuing TXDOT Funds 10/28/13
October 28th, 2013
Howard County is trying to get their hands on some of the 225 million dollars in TXDOT grants made available by the passage of SB 1747 earlier this year. Howard County officials say they are taking the necessary steps to apply for these funds, but without specific criteria, they say itís a wild goose chase.
The oil boom has affected most of West Texas similarly, with more revenue, growth and damaged roads.
"All we know now is that we need to get prepared to make a presentation to them," said Howard County Judge Mark Barr.
Howard County's road budget was cut this year. Barr says he hopes to add two million from TXDOT to fix roads that are in disarray.
"You have to come up with a 20 percent match so say you get one million dollars. Well, you spend 200 to get 800 thousand. Thatís a pretty good deal," he said.
The county says they are seeing more 18 wheelers drive down their roads daily, literally crushing streets, which is why they say they are in desperate need of this funding.
"I donít think this will be the solution for everything, but it certainly will help," said Brian Klinksiek of Howard County Roads.
He says they are documenting road damage and putting together recommendations that must be reviewed by a newly formed transportation district as part of the law, then approved by the commissioners and then finally sent to TXDOT. He says without knowing what exactly will qualify itís hard to prioritize repairs.
"At the moment itís just a lot of unknowns," Klinkiek said.
So while the grants are covered in red tape, the county hopes their roads will hold up under the pressure of the oil boom.
In an email TXDOT officials tell CBS 7 they could finalize the rules in their November meeting and the application process should begin early next year.