Ho. Co. Commissioners Discuss Pipeline and Bridges

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – During the Houston County Commissioners Court meeting held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, Precinct Two Commissioner Willie Kitchen informed the court he had learned a new pipeline may be coming through Houston County. 

“Has anyone been made aware that there is a proposed 40” pipeline – traveling west to south – (coming to Houston County)?” the commissioner asked. I got a letter yesterday from a company that said the pipeline would connect the Permian Basin to the coast.”

County Judge Jim Lovell reported he had also been contacted and was supposed to be receiving a map.

Kitchen said he had seen the proposed map which showed the pipeline going through the south end of Houston County, through Trinity County and into Jasper.

“They are thinking to have it in production by 2024. It’s a 40” pipeline and is supposed to be the fastest pipeline on the books. I’m not sure when they are starting the right-of-way acquisition, proposals and environmental studies. To build a pipeline, there is no telling how much bureaucracy and how much money it will cost before you dig the first bucket of dirt. All of that, I guess, is in progress as we speak,” he said.  

As the meeting continued, the commissioners addressed an agenda item pertaining to eight bridge replacements within the county. The bridges are located at: CR 1060 at Hickory Creek Tributary; CR 1050 at Hickory Creek; CR 3585 at Wright Creek; CR 2215 at Little Elkhart Creek; CR 2330 at Big Elkhart Creek; CR 2120 at Little Elkhart Creek; CR 4555 at Late Creek; and CR 4545 at Camp Creek.

Clint Jones, a representative from TX DOT, said, “The only thing I would ask the court to consider is the road closure for each bridge replacement. Typically when we are unable to close the road, it incurs additional costs for right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and the temporary detour that the county will be on the hook for. Typically, the detour bridge – to rent or buy one – is about $100,000. We would ask on these that you consider carefully closing the road if possible.”

After several minutes of discussion, the court agreed to adopt a resolution and approve an agreement with TxDOT pertaining to the bridge replacements.    

In other matters brought before the court:  

  • The commissioners approved the minutes from previous meetings.
  • The payment of bills and expenses incurred by the county was approved.
  • The Houston County Environmental report was received as information by the court.
  • The court approved salaries for new and transfer employees.
  • The date for the next Commissioners Court meeting was changed to Dec. 23 at 10 am in order to avoid conflict with the Christmas holidays.
  • Copier leases for the sheriff’s department, county jail, county auditor, county treasurer, justice of the peace offices and juvenile probation were renewed for 48 months with Texas Document Solutions.  
  • A donation from Big Creek Operating Company, LLC – in the amount of $673 – was accepted by the court for improvements to Navarro Road in Precinct Two. 
  • A donation from Walsh Timber Company – in the amount of $1,000 – was accepted by the court for improvements to County Road 3585 in Precinct Three.   

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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