Finally someone recognizes that this project has been on the fast track with VERY little public support. The RTC has basically told TTC/Public Werks and Hunt County that they need to slow down and follow procedure. RTC indicates that this project has NOT done due diligence in informing the public and determining if this project is really needed. The link below is to a video of the RTC meeting on March 14, 2013. I am including a list of the relevant segments so you do not have to watch the entire video, unless you are inclined to do so. After clicking the link below, click on Item #10 on the right hand side of the page. Then you can skip to the following segments.
minutes 7:50-18:36 (This is the discussion segment. Judge Horn is in the red shirt, Michael Morris is the gentleman speaking on behalf of COG, and Duncan Webb (sitting close to Judge Horn) is a commissioner from Collin County. Webb is in favor of the move by COG to study this further. Collin Co. is not on board with the toll road.)
Another Herald Banner article. Lots of comments from Public Werks, not much from THE PUBLIC!
No route chosen, no maps for toll road » Local News » The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX.
A very well written letter to the editor in the Greenville Herald Banner. Click HERE to read “Get involved with elected officials' decision”.
This is the article that is referenced at the beginning of the letter to the editor: SH 66 to be Widened
I met with Rep. Dan Flynn yesterday in Austin. He is well aware of our situation. However, the only people he has heard from in person are those in favor of the road. He is in favor of public-private-partnerships as a means for funding roads in Texas. But he also realizes the importance of private property rights NOT being abused through eminent domain. He most likely can not and will not stop this road. He will, however, work to ensure the citizens are most fairly compensated for our loss. His best advice, “DON’T TAKE THE FIRST OFFER!” and “STICK TOGETHER!”
By the way, the advice he gave is basically the same as what the eminent domain lawyer said. I don’t think this means we as a group give up our fight against the road. This is a worst case scenario of what we do at the very end if/when it comes down to that. Hopefully, based on the RTC meeting last night, things are going to be moving a little slower.
Dan Flynn will meet with anyone who will make an appointment. It’s not that far to Austin and he has local offices. I encourage EVERYONE to take the time to talk to him IN PERSON. He said we were the only 2 people he had seen who were opposed to the road. I may not agree with everything he does, but he treated us with dignity and respect. Our local leaders could learn a thing or two from him about how to handle the public when the public is not on the same side as they are. At least Flynn didn’t accuse us of being conspiracy theorists and spreading fear and panic.
The lawyer from this firm was involved in the I-635 build, DFW airport expansion, Love field and other ED issues. They only work for land owners. I recommend that we use him as the legal representative to each person that is directly affected by this proposed toll road if the route takes your land or home. Even if you want to take compensation that is offered, you will get much less without legal representation.
Texas is quite brutal with who the law considers as affected by a project like this road, so what would seem as a normal compensation for disruption of farming, vibrations from traffic that cause your home foundation to crack are non compensatory. While there are ways to form a case for folks indirectly impacted by this project, it will require legal representation to achieve any compensation for those who will be adjacent to the proposed toll road.
The meeting with the lawyer was very productive and informative.
We are still too soon to plan for any legal action since we don’t know the route of the proposed toll road.
We need to focus on a strong public showing at all public hearings about this proposed toll road to demonstrate we are against this project.
One fact is clear, you will not be compensated as much if your property is taken if you do not have legal representation. If you try to deal with this alone, you will get a lower ammount.
We are working with a highly reputable attorney that will tell us the truth with regards to the law, this toll road project, he will make sure that those whose property is condemned are compensated to the maximum ammount according to the market and those also directly affected are able to be compensated for the impacts the toll road has on their land, home.
He has asked us to work on these items now-
He has asked us to continue to have as large a homeowners organization as possible and to have a large a showing as possible at all Public hearings where this project is discussed. The project backers are counting on us the home owners getting tired or no longer involved. This will also help with any legal fees because the more we spread this across, the lower the individual costs.(this is not a class action type suit, but we can use our numbers to support each other in each individual settlement).
The upcoming RTC meeting is the most important meeting to date and as many of us as possible need to be there. This arena is our best chance to stop the toll road.
Once the route is announced, he has asked us to be ready to hire an engineer to see what impacts this road will have with regards to possible flooding issues of your land if this toll road is put in.
With the route announcement we will know who exactly will have their homes condemned and those will have portions of their land condemned. These folks will obviously form the core of the individual complaints and the others that are affected by potential flooding, or other indirect impact issues( he explained what these were but I didn’t want to bring these out in public since we are preparing for possible legal action)will be the rest of the individuals forming the group using legal means to ensure that they are as compensated as much as possible according to the law.
We will have a local meeting soon to explain why we recommend this lawyer, passing out TX ED information packets and going over all of our options for those directly affected and those adjacent to the proposed toll road.
NCTCOG has 3 meetings planned for March 11, 12, and 13. We need a really good showing at at least one of these meetings. Times and places are listed on the events page. The one most convenient is probably at 6:30pm on March 12 in Richardson. Please post on this site or facebook if you can attend. These are meetings where public input is encouraged. They need to hear us loud and clear regarding the toll road. The regular RTC monthly meeting, which is on March 14, is open to the public, but the public is not allowed to speak. From we understand, this month the Blacklands Toll Road is still an information item. Next month at the RTC meeting, it will be voted on as an action item to add it to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Then things may really get interesting.
Click the following link to be re-directed to the online petition…
Ideas to help get the message out.
1.) Email friends, family, coworkers, neighbors….etc. Ask that they sign and share the link. (If you dont’ have a FB page, email friends or family who do and ask them to spend a few minutes to help us out and post the link.)
2.) Post on your facebook page, explain that you will directly be effect. Ask that they sign and share the link.
3.) Post on facebook pages for neighboring cities, mom’s groups, farmer’s market pages, team facebook pages, activist pages, county pages, unit pages, school pages, business pages, local TV news pages, radio pages and other media outlets. (If you go the the local FB pages and read through the posts, see if you can find any mention of the toll road. Respond to each of the post with the link. This way those people who posted questions or concerns will get the notification that you responded to the post with the link.)
4.) Tweet, Pintrest and Instagram about it and share the link
Someone put together this nice spreadsheet containing all the members of the Regional Transportation Council at NCTCOG. Contact any and all of them regarding our view of this toll road. We need to be heard loud and clear.
Thanks for the data, Matthew.