Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Richard Morrison Needs Your Voice

I noted on Fort Bend County Commissioner Richard Morrison’s website, As The Court Turns that he has a new project.

To widen a road.

Morrison, a Democrat, was elected on the coattails of public opposition to extending The Grand Parkway through unspoiled prairie as a toll road. His opponent, Greg Ordineaux, it will be remembered, had a sign bearing the words“Toll Road” riveted to his forehead.

Neighborhoods that would be affected by the toll road came out in droves to make sure Ordineaux was turned away at the polls.

Now, according to Morrison, these very same neighborhoods are all set to be negatively impacted when a new Lamar Consolidated ISD high school is built.

But not by the high school itself. They need the high school.

But by the increase traffic that will most certainly accompany the occasion of the opening of the school in the fall of 2010.

Located along FM 762 in Rosenberg, Texas, George Ranch High School, the name given LCISD’s latest erection, the school is out there in the country surrounded by fields. Making this campus a commuter campus. But the problem is FM 762, as are nearly all Farm to Market roads, is a two-lane road. A two-lane road that crosses Crabb River Road which is being widened from 2 to 4 lanes.

Can you spell Bottleneck?

Obviously, according to Morrison, the FM needs to be widened also.

Now where to get the money to widen a road? Well, you can get the money from property taxes being paid by new businesses that are moving into the county, bringing the families that make building new high schools necessary.

But the reason businesses are moving into the county is because they were all granted tax abatements.

With these abatements the county is strapped for cash and can’t build the infrastructure that this artificial growth needs to get from A to B efficiently.

So Morrison has hatched a plan to get money from the feds. From what is called a TIGER grant. But here’s the hitch: Fort Bend County’s grant application will be in competition with literally thousands of others from throughout the country.

So Morrison arranged local cities, organizations as well as TxDOT, to kick in 20% of the road widening project’s total cost of between $70 and $80 million, making this application more attractive to the feds who make their grant decisions based on local commitment and support.

So he has the cash problem taken care of. What he now needs is the support of the local citizenry by submitting letters of support to the federal Department of Transportation, which runs the TIGER Grant:

“One of the requirements of the TIGER Grant application is to submit as many resolutions and letters of support from local and state governments, as well as non-profits, community organizations and individuals as possible. I have received the support of the local state offices of TxDOT, as well as the City of Sugar Land and the City of Thompsons. I am requesting your support. This item will be placed on the August 25, 2009 Agenda of Commissioner’s Court. Please show up at the Travis Building (301 Jackson St., 7th Floor, Richmond, Texas) at 12:45 pm to sign up and speak on its behalf or call Judge Hebert’s Office at 281-341-8634 and let him know you support this project.”

That shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just excited to see Mr. Morrison update his blog. After the blog's much celebrated announcement on this site and others, I looked forward to getting timely information.

He updates about as often a Republican gets caught in a sex scandal. That's about quarterly.