• September 16, 2019

Commissioners approve road plan - Odessa American: News

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Commissioners approve road plan

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 3:00 pm

A 20-year plan for improvement and rehabilitation of Ector County roads was approved by county commissioners during a Tuesday meeting.

Director of the Highways and Streets Department Evans Kessey said the plan would cost more than $116 million over two decades. The need is largely due the growth of the oil and gas industry, which has put an “ever-increasing demand on the county roads and created congestion on many county roadways which need to be addressed …,” a summary of his plan said.

Population and business growth also are factors, Kessey said.

Broken down into 10-year increments, the short term (2020-2025) amount is $34.8 million; mid-range (2025-2030) is $30.2 million; and the long-range (2030-2040) is $51.5 million.

 In a handout, Kessey said prior to 2017, many of the projects in the County 2040 Improvement and Rehabilitation Plan were unfunded in the budget projections for future years. He said this changed with the strategic investment plan for the future of Ector County.”

“In approaching the funding requirement, it will require another $3 million going into the Highways and Streets Fund from the recently passed County Assistance District sales taxes for routine maintenance operations from 2021 forward. The additional sales tax investment in the transportation system, together with the anticipated state dollars will add many of the necessary resources to fund the County 2040 Improvement and Rehabilitation Plan,” the information said.

A five-year Highways and Streets Capital Improvement Plan will continue to be updated yearly in each precinct and “will ensure a fair and reasonable determination of project priorities in accordance with the overall transportation needs of the County, especially in dealing with the impact of energy development in the county.”

He said a significant long-term project will be to extend roads directing north and south to State Highway 302, interstate 20, Cottonwood Road and Farm to market Road 3503 in precincts 1, 2 and 4, and to extend all roadways directing west to east to Farm to Market Road 866, West Loop 338, West Yukon Road and U.S. 385 (the Andrews Highway) in precincts 1 and 2 over the next five years. He said the improvements will require more than $30 million a year.

He noted that the city does not accept heavy weight vehicles.

“They will give you a ticket right now. What they do is they catch up and they use county roads and that is deteriorating almost all the pavement, so we have to come up with a strategy,” Kessey said in an interview. “We’re not going to let it be the way it is because the more we allow it to be the way it is we are going to spend more money in the future to fix it, plus the people in the county will also not be happy in terms of the infrastructure we give to them.”

Kessey said the county held town hall meetings about the County Assistance District and voters approved it so the funds must be used for road improvements. He noted that bad roads also affect the economy. Businesses will lose money and people will not be happy because it takes so long to commute.

In other business:

  • Commissioners turned down a request regarding the possibility of sharing the cost of construction of a new parking lot and moving a basketball court at Murry Fly Elementary School. Cortney Smith, executive director of district operations, said the estimated cost of the parking lot, including a light pole, would be $170,000 and the cost of the basketball court would be $60,000.

The district will likely pay for the costs itself.

  • A public hearing on the county’s tax rate was conducted, but no one attended. Officials said the county has until Sept. 24 to adopt one.
  • A public hearing on the county’s tax rate was conducted, but no one attended. Officials said the county has until Sept. 24 to adopt one. This was the last public hearing.

    The tentative rate is 37.5 cents per $100 in valuation, which is a decrease from the current 39.7-cent levy but above the effective rate of 35.41, which would be, considering bolstered valuations from the oil boom, in effect a tax hike.

    In her proposed budget, County Judge Debi Hays has scheduled the government to spend $65.6 million in the coming fiscal year, up from the current year’s $64.1 million in total expenditures.
  • Accepted a donation of $800 from Earl S. Bailey Post 430 for the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Awarded a $106,107 bid to Centerline Supply for equipment to be used by the traffic operations department.
  • Approved a contractual assignment between Wildcatter Aviation and Texas Aero for the operation of Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field after hearing an explanation of part of the contract the commission hadn’t reviewed before.
  • Renewed interlocal agreements for fleet maintenance with UTPB and the Medical Center Health System and contracting with Vector Fleet Management.
  • Approved contracting with the Texas Department for Family and Protective Services for 2019-2020.
  • Renewed the county’s agreement with the Texas Association of Counties for worker’s compensation coverage.
  • Approved a 2020 routine airport maintenance grant agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation.
  •  Approved transferring $57,360 and $5,250 for road maintenance, $133,750 for engineering, $20,353 for signs and other supplies and $3,250 for equipment maintenance and repair to highways and streets.
  • Approved transferring $9,150 from the airport fund to the airport’s improvements and construction department for electrical materials and supplies.
  • Approved budget amendments to pay UA Supplies $15,000 for post-sentence monitoring, $16,000 in monitoring fees and $1,000 for supplies.
  • Approved amendments to pay the medical examiner’s office $60,000 for autopsies and $20,000 for transportation.
  • Approved action regarding roadway rehabilitation to include widening of 42nd Street from State Highway 302 to FM 1936 in precinct 1, widening of Pawpaw Street from U.S. 385 to Ruby Avenue in precinct 4, as 2020 Roadway Improvement Project; and to engage Landgraf, Crutcher & Associates to provide all necessary topographical survey and engineering design for the project’s preliminary construction plans for a fee not to exceed $233,750, excluding right-of-way, utility adjustment and underground pipeline costs.
  • Approved accepting Liberty Mutual Surety’s assumption of liability in place of AmTrust Surety.
  • Approved an amendment to contract with Vector Fleet Management.
  • Approved an amendment to the engineering services contract between Landgraf, Crutcher & Associates and Ector County to include definition of time of performance of contract and to reflect LCA’s current rates.
  • Approved having Sooner Avenue in the vicinity of West 18th Street surveyed.
  • Approved a replat of a 65-foot wide future road easement in Block 3 and 4 and a 10 acre tract of land out of Block 4 TTF Ranch Estates 17.76 acres in Section 26, Block 44, T-2-2, T&P RY Co. Survey, Ector County.
  • Approved a road dedication plat of West 16th Street and North Patrick Avenue a replat of a 65 foot wide future road easement in tracts 1 and 2, TTF Ranch Estates and a 50 foot wide private maintenance, public access and utility easement out of tracts 2 and 3 TTF Ranch Estates being 13.74 acres in section 26, Block 44, T-2-S, T&P RY County Survey.
  • Approved a dedicated plat of West 16th Street and North Westcliff Road being a 15.53 acres and 6.01 acres in Section 25, Block 44, T-2-S, T&P RY County Survey, Ector County.
  • Approved a subdivision final plat Gardendale (158) DTP addition being a subdivision establishing Lot 1 and Lot 2 Block 1, containing 4.936 acres showing part of Section 6, Block 41, T-1-S Texas and Pacific Railroad Company Abstract No. 518 Ector County.
  • Tabled action on Mendoza MHRC (Mirage RV Park) on 2834 Cowell Road.
  • Approved Valentina’s Ranch being a plat of 39.98 acre tract less 2 acres out of Section 41, Block 43, T-2-S, T&P RY County Survey, Ector County.
  • Approved several fund transfers for the Highways and Streets Department.
  • Approved contacting Todd Baron Thomason & Hudman on a legal contract.

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