On March 25, 2009 Fort Bend County agreed to waive the market valuation. I voted against the waiver, but lost the vote 3-2. Under Senate Bill 792, any county that votes to waive has until September 25, 2009 to exercise the local option on the Grand Parkway. What is the "local option", you ask?
The local option essentially means that the local entity (Fort Bend County in this case) gets to develop the project itself. The County now has two years from the date that the environmental is completed to enter a contract for the construction (design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, etc.) of the project. If such a contract is executed then the project remains in control of the local entity.
If Fort Bend did not exercise the local option then the option to develop the Grand Parkway goes to TxDOT and would likely result in the County completely losing control of the project. TxDOT would probably execute a Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) with a private company and the County would have no say so or input.
I believe that voting for the local option gives the County as much control over the Grand Parkway as we can get. That's why I voted for the local option.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Here is a list (see p. 4) of stimulus projects in Precinct 1 added by TxDOT last week. FM 2218 and 1640 are on the list as well as US 59 at FM 360. These were added because the projects letting were coming in under budget. This is great news for Richmond, Rosenberg and west Fort Bend County.