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.

NETEX meeting notes 1/9/2013

Here are my key takeaways from the NETEX meeting today:
1. The tollroad route is not in any way tied to the current rail line right of way. This is key for routing the tollroad if feasible out and away from the right of way. The most costly course of action for Publicwerks is to have to build the toll road along the right of way due to homes, and improved land that would have to be purchased. They would much rather find a cheaper route.. Motion passed 6-5 for approval of the lease agreement (draft?) that would set the relationship between NETEX and Publicwerks. This lease is for 50 years with 2 25 year blocks as options (=100years possible). No upfront costs are charged to Publicwerks at this time.
2. It was motioned by a non supporter that a roll call vote be made so you can see who voted yay and nay.
3. Even the nay votes were not focused on how this project would impact the public, (however it was acknowledged) but how it would impact NETEX ability to raise funds using the Blacklands rail lines right of way they own.
4. The impact of traffic flowing into 78 was a issue with this proposed toll road.
5. The payment schedule over time was an issue since the CPI for the costs were not based on inflation, meaning that an agreement made in 2013 will be worth much less in 2033. (think of how a 1969 dollar is worth more than a 1999 dollar). Bottom line, it may have to re negotiated in order to ensure any monies owed to NETEX are indexed for inflation so they are not getting buckets of worthless cash 20 years from now that couldn’t support any improvements to the rail line.
6. NETEX is looking for Federal funding. So far they have been denied. However, if ever funded- they wouldn’t need this toll road and would be able to build the new railway within the right of way when funded.
7. One of nay votes brought up that for the toll road to make a profit was around 14000 cars at 75 mph a day. He quoted many figures about the payments for the lease and the toll road operations costs. This ties directly into what 78 can accept if this toll road was built and had that much traffic per day. According to him anything less wouldn’t make enough money to buy more than a few hundred cross toes for the RR….his nay vote was based on the money figures and that they were not there per the current lease agreement.
8.Judge Horn voted yay, primarily based on starting the process of public discussion, and hoping this will directly or indirectly bring jobs and prosperity to Hunt Co.
9. Everyone should read the meeting notes and the lease agreement since they are public record.
10. This is an agreement between two private entities, so when they get approval from any TX government agency, it doesn’t mean anything is not set in stone. Approval is not the same as funded. Right now they have no idea of where the money will come from, where the road will go or who will do what. There are many future opportunities for the public to voice their position.
11. I explained to Neal at Publicwerks that most Hunt Co. folks don’t look at the Greenville Herald everyday, nor do they search the civic websites since the median age of Precinct 2 is 58 yrs old. The focus on their land and families. That the future messaging must allow for everyone to get informed before any real action is decided upon. This will require all of us to be as informed as possible as we go to future meetings.
12. This is going to be a long process with many meetings that sound important but are not as they seem at first. The people affected can shape how this will look if it has to be done at all.
Only if we are all involved.
If anyone has any questions, email me.

Public Werks, Inc. Presentation

Video — Click Here.

This is from the December 11, 2012 Wylie City Council meeting. The video presentation is very informative. To see the presentation in the video, look just under the video window and select the last item in the list “Work Session Item 2.” The presentation is long and you’ll probably have to turn your volume all the way up, but worth a listen. At about 36 minutes into the video a council member addresses the 100 feet issue, indicating that is not near enough width to build this highway.

Here is an excerpt from the full agenda. Click on the “Full Agenda” tab and scroll down toward the bottom for the WORKSESSION section.


  • Presentation by John Crew, Public Werks, Inc. and discussion regarding a Letter of Support for a proposed Toll Road Project between Greenville Texas and the President George Bush Turnpike. (M. Manson, City Manager)

Executive Summary
The Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC) is a private toll road corporation that has legislative authority to build and operate toll roads in the State of Texas. Per the TTC representatives, the project is intended to alleviate traffic congestion in this area, specifically that of I-30 in Dallas and Rockwall counties. The proposed Phase 1 of the project would be built between Lavon and Greenville through a ground lease from the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District (NETEX). NETEX owns 88 miles of abandoned railroad right-of-way between Wylie and Mount Pleasant, which is commonly known as the Cotton Belt. As proposed, the project would ultimately connect with the President George Bush Turnpike.