The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of 52.6 acres of right-of-way from Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC, for more than $1.3 million Nov. 22.

The land—along CR 401 and CR 404—stretches from FM 973 to the intersection of US 79 in Taylor, where the county is planning future road projects. In 2021, the county agreed to specific road improvements as part of a development agreement to incentivize Samsung to build the semiconductor plant in Taylor, including improvements to CR 401 and CR 404 as well as construction of future county roads. The construction of a new county road, from CR 404 to FM 973, is expected to be done by fall 2023.

General election results canvassed

The court approved the certified results from the Nov. 8 general election, in which incumbent candidates County Judge Bill Gravell, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Cynthia Long and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Russ Boles were each re-elected.

County Elections Administrator Chris Davis said his department received no claims of voter fraud during the course of the election.

Officials do see room for improvement in regard to future elections, though, as long lines at some of the voting locations resulted in reporting delays. Davis said the county needs additional locations, more machines at polling stations, larger polling stations “or all of the above,” but finding publicly available spaces is “always the challenge.”

“One of the other concerns we have while we’re talking about locations is prefiled legislation that is seeking to remove public school campuses as polling places, post-Uvalde tragedy,” Davis said. “It’s a big concern for us; 15%-20% of our sites are public schools for Election Day. If those go away overnight, I’m really going to need help in finding sites for polling places.”