FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2009
Contact: Mae Smith, President/Mayor, 254-657-2460
Holland, Texas - Five local mayors took a stand 27 months ago and formed the state's first sub-regional planning commission to stand up against and stop once and for all the governor's massive land grab known as the Trans-Texas Corridor. No one thought they could.
Today, the Texas Department of Transportation and the governor announced that the State of Texas has officially killed the project by selecting the "No Build" option under the environmental impact statement study. Selecting that option was exactly what the Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission (ECTSRPC) forced the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) into choosing.
"Believe me, it wasn't what they wanted to do, it's what we forced them to do," stated Mae Smith, Mayor of Holland and president of the ECTSRPC. The planning commission began a series of what is called coordination meetings in the fall of 2007, by utilizing a little known state statute that forced the behemoth agency to come to Holland, Texas.
TxDOT came to Holland on three different occasions where they were asked to explain why they were going to destroy five towns and their school districts with a 1,200 foot-wide, 146 acre per mile toll road.
"Through coordination, we forced them to our table and then we used the federal NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) statute to box them in a legal corner out of which they could not escape," stated Ralph Snyder, a local Holland businessman and board member of the ECTSRPC. "That's what forced TxDOT to recommend 'No Build' to the Federal Highway Administration because we had shown how TxDOT, as the agent of the federal government, had violated the federal statute in at least 29 ways," Snyder continued.
Fred Grant, president of American Stewards of Liberty, is the originator of the coordination strategy that brought TxDOT to their knees. "Had we not had five courageous mayors who represent a total of 6,000 people stand up to the governor and his rogue state agency, the Trans-Texas Corridor would have destroyed hundreds of thousands of private acres of prime and unique farmland, as well as, the economies of every community it dissected," stated Grant.
The TTC-35 is just one of the 4,000 miles of toll roads that nine state planning commissions are fighting.
"TxDOT can still continue to build 130, TTC-69, and the Ports-to-Plains toll roads, but defeating the TTC-35 is a major victory for the rural people of Texas."
To obtain a copy of the petition filed by the ECTSRPC showing the federal violations of TxDOT, please contact American Stewards of Liberty at 512-365-2699.
Read blog with more on this story here.