The Lone Star Review - State

Hays County Commissioners Agree to Spend $2.5M on Dead End Highway

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or on this website should be taken as legal advice.

Hays County Commissioners Agree to Spend $2.5M on Dead End Highway

Per a Facebook post by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra:

Mark Jones and Walt Smith lied in commissioners court in an attempt to convince the court members to spend 2.5 million dollars on a project that can’t go anywhere.

On August 30th, during Hays County Commissioners Court, Commissioners Mark Jones and Walt Smith lied, and misled the court in order to allocate funds for an I35 extension through Buda connecting SH45. The question asked by Commissioner Inglasbe and myself was what the Travis County Commissioners’ opinion on the project was. When road projects cross county lines, the project needs support from the other governmental entities and should be included in the CAMPO 10 year plan. Yesterday, Travis County Commissioners Court sent us a letter saying they did not support the project, the commissioners (Jones & Smith) mischaracterized conversations with them , and the project is not in the CAMPO 10 year plan. You deserve honorable elected officals who will lookout for the best interest of you and your family.

Travis County Commissioners Court State Hays County Voted on a Road to Know Where

On September 13, 2022, a letter seemed to be sent to Judge Becerra from the Travis County Commissioners Court. The letter, signed by the following:

  • Andy Brown, Travis County Judge
  • Jeffrey W. Travillion, Sr., Commissioner, Precinct 1
  • Brigid Shea, Commissioner, Precinct 2
  • Ann Howard, Commissioner, Precinct 3
  • Margaret J. Gomez, Precinct 4

States members of the Travis County Commissioners Court learned that $2.5M was approved in a 4-1 vote. The money was to be used for engineering and design contract to “complete the missing section of SH 45,” between I-35 and FM 1626, connecting I-35 to South Mopac.

The unified document identified the position of the Travis County Commissioners Court. In part, the following was stated:

For many years, both the City of Austin and Travis County have opposed the inclusion of the I-35 to FM 1626 connection in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) regional transportation plan. This project is also not included in TXDOT’s recently updated 10 year funding plan, the 2023 Unified Transportation Program.

Making the connection from I-35 to FM 1626 would effectively make MOPAC an I-35 bypass, dramatically increase vehicular and truck traffic. The traffic impacts of this decision by Hays County would have a profound and detrimental effect almost entirely on Austin and Travis County.

The letter also goes on to indicate the “very positive,” statements by Hays County Commissioners Jones and Smith are not accurately portrayed.

It appears the Hays County Commissioners Court will need to figure out what it needs to do to correct the vote. If they do correct the vote, what happens next? This is a very unique situation to be placed in during an election year.

Judge Becerra is running for re-election and Mark Jones is running to unseat him from his incumbent role. These types of decisions may have a major impact on the very fast approaching election. We have not reached out to Smith or Jones on the matter. This information was taken directly from Judge Becerra’s Facebook page.

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may find our publishing on the need to review the Hays County Constable budget of interest.

Or you may find our story on the Hays County jail issue of value.

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