This is how the bureaucrats win the day time and again...they control the information the elected officials have. They constantly claim "we're out of money" so that they can continue to push toll taxes upon Texans. We don't elect the bureaucrats, yet they wield the power to increase taxes and control access to our own public roads. Read the article below carefully, they're revealing that taxpayer money will build this project yet those same taxpayers will not be allowed to drive on it without paying a toll to a private entity who will control the toll rates and our public infrastructure for the next half century!
Members focus on finding funding
Committee trying to get more financial partners on board for I-35E project
01:29 AM CST on Sunday, December 11, 2011
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
Denton Record Chronicle
LEWISVILLE — The 1420 Committee met again Friday afternoon to continue discussion on the massive project that will expand the often-congested Interstate 35E.
During the meeting, members of the committee said progress was being made as they look to secure more financial partners for the project.
The meeting at Lewisville City Hall was delayed about 15 minutes as some committee members were held up in traffic on I-35E.
Michael Morris, committee chairman and director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, took the opportunity to stress that accidents like the one that delayed his fellow committee members were one of the driving forces behind their work.
The committee is a requirement of Senate Bill 1420, which authorizes the use of public-private partnerships to fund the expansion of the highway.
Once assembled, the committee moved swiftly through the agenda items, which included discussion on policy when the I-35E expansion project receives funding in the future. The committee laid out guidelines for the Regional Transportation Council to give the state on how to use the funds.
The guidelines are being locked into place now. Once the project moves forward, the 1420 Committee will be dissolved. All future work will be done within the parameters the committee is currently establishing.
John Polster, transportation consultant for Denton County and a 1420 Committee member, said the guidelines inform the RTC that a balance between toll and non-toll lanes is sought for any new construction.
Committee members also raised the subject of alternatives to the toll lanes, but the conversation was short, since there are no other options right now.
“The next alternative we will look at is based on what additional partnership developments we have,” Polster said.
Members talked about new financial partnerships, including contributions from the city of Denton and from Dallas County. Alberta Blair, director of public works for Dallas County and a 1420 Committee member, said county officials had submitted a letter to Bill Meadows with the Texas Transportation Commission pledging to be a financial partner in the I-35E project.
Denton Mayor Pro Tem Pete Kamp, another committee member, said the city of Denton had found some funds to contribute to the project as well.
Polster said later that officials with the Texas Department of Transportation have told the committee they need time to get their proposal together, and the RTC is looking at ways to add to the funding as well.
The committee’s final meeting of the year will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in Carrollton. The location is still being determined.
At that meeting, committee members are expected to approve the guideline principles for the Regional Transportation Council and to start the process of hiring an engineering firm. The process begins by sending a request for qualifications to each firm. After the RFQs are returned, firms would report to the committee on how much the job would cost. The process of hiring an engineering firm is expected to last into next year.