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County opposes Trans Texas Corridor

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WAXAHACHIE - County commissioners approved a two-paragraph resolution asking state lawmakers to consider other routes for the Trans Texas Corridor during Monday morning's meeting.

Commissioner Heath Sims, Pct. 3, an outspoken opponent of the proposed toll-road, said he realized planning for future growth was a necessity, but this corridor was not the proper vehicle to handle road expansion.

Sims introduced a resolution voicing the county's strong opposition to the corridor.

Other court members, including County Judge Chad Adams and Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1, expressed concerns that Sims' version was too strongly-worded.

'I'm not in support of this road coming through Ellis County,' Robinson said.

'If it ever comes to bargaining time we need at least a seat at the table.'

Waxahachie resident Marshall Evans said no citizens living in Ellis County want a seat at the negotiations table, because they don't want the TTC.

If the county did not diplomatically express their views concerning the corridor, Adams said, then they may not get a voice in other transportation issues affecting Ellis County at the regional level.

Sims said the county was already at the bargaining table because if the multi-lane road was eventually built, it would be constructed east or west of Ellis County. 'I think we need to stand strong and represent our citizens,' Sims said.

His version noted future planning for growth was a necessity, but added the corridor would consume up to 146 acres per mile of rich farm land in Ellis County.

'With Ellis County being one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the USA, it is more than obvious that traffic and transportation is a major issue, but the need for local improvements outweighs the need for a dividing of the great state of Texas with a 1,200 foot transportation wall,' Sims' resolution stated.

Citizens opposed to the TTC cutting through Ellis County urged commissioners to adopt a resolution written by Sims.

The government closest to the people should be the very best government of the people,' said Jimmie Simmons, a Waxahachie resident.

'Now if you powerfully speak out against something they will hear you in Austin.'

Through tears, Tyda Shields said she was disheartened government officials were willing to sell Texas public land to a foreign construction company.

Cintra, an international construction company based in Spain, has been awarded a contract from the Texas Department of Transportation to design the proposed toll road.

Commissioner Ron Brown, Pct. 4 said TxDOT officials informed him the road would be owned by the state.

Robinson later made a motion using just the first two paragraphs of Sims' original letter.

Robinson's proposal for the amended resolution passed with a 3-2 vote as Sims and Commissioner Jones, Pct. 2 voted against the measure.

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