Chamber Reports on Intergovernmental Coalition Meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2012
Granbury, Texas – The Chamber hosted the semi-annual, Intergovernmental Coalition meeting on April 18, 2010 at the Granbury Resort and Conference Center. The Coalition currently has four committees including Economic Development, Education/Information Technology, Transportation/Public Safety and Water/Wastewater.
Education/IT – Kevin Myers reported the deVinci Robot is in operation at Lake Granbury Medical Center and provides great benefits. New technology is important to the medical and education fields as well as good connectivity. Charter Communication is building out their fiber network. Direct TV/Wild Blue’s government program offers free installation in rural areas where high-speed internet is not available. Enrollment at Weatherford College campus in Granbury continues to grow. Over 200 students enrolled this semester; targeting 400 students this fall. Scholarships available for people over 65. Many changes have been made to Channel 27 (Granbury TV) and it is now available to most people in Granbury, DeCordova, Pecan Plantation or on-line.
Economic Development – Joey Grisham, Executive Director for Lake Granbury Area EDC, discussed the Granbury Airport expansion. “The expansion is good for the whole county,” said Mr. Grisham. Non-attainment ruling will be made soon. A Michaels Stores, Inc. will be coming to Granbury in 2013 and brings approximately 15 new jobs to Granbury.
Transportation/Public Safety – Commissioner Steve Berry reported that TxDot plans to use funding for cross-gates at the Rail Road track in Cresson. Both Hood County and Cresson are opposed to the installation due to public safety reasons. “When the arms are down, traffic back-up will increase causing further delays,” said Berry. Funding was approved to cut oak trees on Loop 567. Approval was given in 1998 but the work is just getting started. Traffic problems on Highway 144 are a result of the red lights operating on timing-versus-sensor technology. Commissioner Heathington is working on a master plan to address this problem for all of Hood County. Sheriff Deeds would like to extend a thank you to BRA for searching the lake twice for Mr. Moore who has been missing for over a month. A Monday meeting with TxDot confirmed crossing arms will be installed.
Sheriff Deeds reported that there has been a problem with livestock getting out of fences and onto highways and adjoining property. “We are getting all the calls for assistance to round up the livestock to keep them from being harmed or causing accidents,” said Sheriff Deeds. For decades, Hood County has been governed by the “Open Range” law that gives cattle the right-of-way. With the increase in population, Hood County should be changed to a “Closed Range.” A signed petition can be presented to the Commissions Court and then voted on in November.
Mike Scott updated the group on the 4th of July events. A patriotic, laser-light show is planned on the square on July 4th at 9:45 p.m. “Due to the number of attendees expected, we have asked TxDot to approve closure of Pearl Street (at the square) from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.” said Mr. Scott.
Water and Wastewater – Chairman, Richard English said the drought last year brought issues to Hood County in terms of lake levels and water demand, and as a result Granbury went to ‘stage 2’ watering restrictions while AMUD went to Stage 1 voluntary restrictions. Last summer the City of Granbury, Johnson County Special Utility District and AMUD sold some of their raw water downstream to Dow Chemical. There was a minimal impact on the lake level, however the negative public perception highlighted the need for educating the public on the cost/benefit impacts ahead of time.
The Watershed Protection Plan initiative has now moved into the implementation phase, with an emphasis on education. Educating the HOA’s, schools, civic organizations and the general public is the key to helping overall lake water quality. The long-term goal is to get everyone on wastewater collection. The new Watershed Coordinator, Jody Cason, is in town and working hard on educating the public about water issues.
Sondra Walton Marketing & Events Director