The creation of an advisory board was part of the requirements for the county to be eligible for the Transportation Infrastructure Fund grant money. The state has $225 million in the fund to be awarded to counties that have roads impacted by the oil and gas industry.
The county stands to be awarded as much as $1.3 million from the Texas Department of Transportation—a grant the county will have to match with $300,000.
Commissioner Gary Bourland named David Guy, and Commissioner Rod Bernal named Dallas Ford and Darren Kelso to the three-member advisory board.
The advisory board will be challenged to create an interest-bearing account and determine the ad valorem increment to be placed into the account.
Bourland said the amount depends on values—anything appraised above what the current value is.
The account will help the county have the matching funds for the grant.
Commissioners approved a reinvestment zone of about 55 acres – all located in Refugio County.
The boundaries consist of Refugio County Appraisal District parcels 427203, 427211 and 602218, as well as the county rights of way containing Suntide Road, Toups Road and Cliff Road adjacent to the parcels.
Roads or parts of roads selected for the project include the following:
Swift Road, Precinct 3; Cliff Road, Precinct 1; Austwell Cemetery Road, Precinct 4; Aransas River Road, Precinct 2; Suntide (Toups to Cemetery), Precinct 1; Austwell Cutoff, Precinct 4; Boenig Road, Precinct 2; Back Gate Road, Precinct 4.
Also, Toups Road, Precinct 1; Levein Road, Precinct 2; Suntide Road (Cemetery to railroad), Precinct 1; Kelso Road, Precinct 4; Steindorf Road, Precinct 2; Humble Road, Precinct 1; Suntide at railroad (turnout pad), Precinct 2; Boenig Road (Levien-Steindorf), Precinct 2; Schirmer Road (Farm-to-Market 136 south of Crews), Precinct 2.
Also, Steindorf Road (Boenig to Farm-to-Market Road 1360), Precinct 2; Toland Road (Beck to Farm Road 1360), Precinct 2; Welder Road (Farm-to-Market Road 2441 to fence), Precinct 2; and Demmer Road (Farm Road 136 to Farm-to-Market Road 629), Precinct 2.
The total cost of repairing all the roads was estimated at $3 million, so commissioners will have to prioritize the roads.
Money from the TIF grants may be left over if counties don’t apply for it. In that case, Refugio County may be able to apply for those funds, as well.