NEPA and Environmental Studies

I understand that Public Werks will be required to do an environmental study. However, since they are not publicly funded by state or federal dollars, they may not have to do anything more than this form right here:

If that’s the case, it’s a joke. And the approval is only by the local boards. There are no checks and balances here. You have the same people dreaming up, fighting for, and voting on these projects with little or no possible room for questioning.

Conversation with Public Werks

Based on what was said at the Hunt County Commissioners Court workshop and meeting, a conversation with a COG rep, and a conversation with a representative of Public Werks, Inc.:

  • Texas Turnpike Corp (TTC) can not own more than a 200ft wide strip for this project. (I believe this is one reason why the NETEX right-of-way lease is important to them. This would give them an extra 50ft, at least.)
  • TTC has been recognized by the state of Texas as an approved tolling authority for 10 or 12 years, similar to NTTA.
  • The NETEX lease agreement was signed at the January 9, 2013 meeting. An upfront payment of $25,000 was made to NETEX from TTC for the initial agreement. The other details can be found in the agreement.
  • Public Werks is working with an investment consultant called KPMG to facilitate funding of their project through private investors.
  • Public Werks has been in meetings and discussions with parties involved in the Walton Development. These two projects are mutually beneficial to each other.
  • They have NO plans for any type of sound/noise or safety barriers along the toll road in Hunt County. If it backs up to your property, it will be an eye soar as well as a major source of noise.
  • There will be some type of agreement signed that will protect the profits of the toll road from any “adverse events.” (This can best be defined as a non-compete agreement. Meaning that if any existing road conditions are improved or enhanced in any way that might cause someone to choose a free road over their tollway, the toll company will be compensated for loss of revenue. So your tax dollars will help fund this private company’s profits…you get to pay for the road in tolls and taxes. This takes decision making for local roads out of the hands of your local officials for the next 50 years. In essence, it gives Public Werks a monopoly.)
  • The final route is not set in stone. (Contact your local officials to express your concerns and thoughts on alternatives.)
  • NCTCOG has bought in to the idea that this road is needed and wanted. Public Werks has met the 3-fold requirement of COG to be included on the long term plans for this area. The 3 requirements of COG to get a project like this on the plan are as follows:
    1. Funding
    2. Design
    3. Public Involvement
  • For the January, February, and March meetings of the COG’s Regional Transprotation Council (RTC) meetings, this project is an “information item.” It is being presented as 1 of about 10 such projects in the North Texas area for inclusion in a long term plan. These meetings don’t go into detail about the project, just states that it is an item to be considered. However, in the April RTC meeting, the project will be an “action item” and will be voted on and approved for inclusion in the long term plan. They hope to be able to start construction very soon after (within a year or two).
  • This is moving VERY fast. Public Werks has already started work on the environmental study that is required by the state. This is probably the final hurdle in getting this thing through. The best, and maybe only, place to get this stopped is in the Hunt County Commissioners Court.

Hunt County Public Meeting

There is a public meeting on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:00am at 2700 Johnson St., Greenville, TX in the Auxiliary Courtroom. It is a red brick building. The Hunt County Commissioners Court is also holding their regular bi-monthly meeting at the same location at 10:00am. PLEASE plan to attend both meetings. There will be time for you to speak. Each citizen can take a maxium of 3 minutes. The Commissioners Court will be voting on a resolution regarding support of the toll road. EVERYONE needs to contact their commissioner and express your opinion. More information about these meetings and their agendas can be found on the “Meetings” page of this site.

NCTCOG Meeting

The NCTCOG Regional Transportation Council (RTC) meets again on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:00pm. The location of this meeting is:

616 Six Flags Dr.
Arlington, TX 76011

We have been told the toll road project will be discussed. The agenda for the meeting is not yet posted on the NCTCOG website. I am not sure how open these meetings are. You may want to call ahead. We have been told both that they are open to the public and that they are not. Someone will need to show up in order to know for sure. At the very least I think people may be able to attend but probably not speak unless added to an agenda somehow. Here is a link to the RTC page on NCTCOG’s website. I think an agenda will be posted prior to the meeting.