Montgomery County commissioners call for November road bond

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Updated Aug. 21 at 5:38 p.m.

Montgomery County Commissioners have called a meeting for Aug. 24 at 4:45 p.m. to discuss a new road bond referendum to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The county will call for a $280 million bond package with Precincts 1 and 2 receiving $64 million each, Precinct 3 receiving $84 million and Precinct 4 receiving $68 million. The proposed bond package is $70 million less than what was proposed in May, County Judge Craig Doyal said. In addition, the proposal will not include a 6-mile extension of Woodlands Parkway from FM 2978 to Hwy. 249 through Precinct 2, he said.

Doyal and Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley announced Aug. 21 they have reached an agreement with the Texas Patriots PAC regarding details for the new proposed bond. The political action committee was one of the leading opponents of the $350 million May road bond.

As part of the agreement, a 2018 road bond is also planned for at least a $70 million, and funds will be divided between the precincts in the same proportion as the proposed November bond. Doyal said he does not believe the November bond will result in a property tax increase for county residents should the proposal earn approval from voters.

By law, Doyal said the court would need to approve putting the proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot by Aug. 24. The commissioners court’s only previously scheduled meeting was set for Aug. 25, so a special meeting would have needed to be called for by the previous day.

Texas statues dictate that in order to hold a public meeting, the court must post notice of the meeting 72 hours in advance, or, depending on what time the special meeting was to be held, on Aug. 21.

In July, three of the four commissioners said they would not be in favor of holding a bond election in November after county voters turned down the May road bond. Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack was the only commissioner at the time to be in favor of a November vote.

The initial bond proposal included 77 projects that included either new roads, road expansions or maintenance projects. Among those was a $22 million, 6-mile extension of Woodlands Parkway.

The project drew strong opposition from individuals and groups, including the Texas Patriots Tea Party and grassroots organizations from The Woodlands. According to the Montgomery County Elections Office, 86 percent of Woodlands voters opposed the bond. Overall, 57 percent of county voters were against the proposal.

Other projects included $60 million to widen Rayford Road from the Union Pacific railroad tracks to Riley Fuzzel Road, along with an overpass over the railroad tracks.

The deadline to register to vote in the November general election is Oct. 3.

 

 

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