County officials offer resolutions for the new year
With the new year comes dreams for greater things and plans to complete projects started.
We asked county officials in each of the seven Crossroads counties what their resolution is for their county in 2014.
Michael J. Pfeifer
Calhoun County judge
The most immediate goal for Calhoun County in the new year is to repair County Road 101, which is actually a city street.
"The county is going to cooperate with the city of Port Lavaca," Pfeifer said. "We've already talked to City Council, and they're on board." The mile-long hurricane evacuation route, which connects state highways 35 and 238, is labeled rough by roadside signs.
Residents of Port O'Connor and Seadrift use the road as a thoroughfare to travel to Port Lavaca.
Additionally, the fair grounds and emergency medical services are located on the road.
School buses, residents of an RV park and members of Little League teams must also travel the road regularly.
"The city is going to furnish the materials, and we're going to furnish most of the equipment and labor - whatever it takes to get the job done."
DeWitt County judge
The county will continue to pursue mineral rights revenue for county roads. If the county owns the mineral rights under a road, it should get to keep the income. It stands that revenue goes to the state, but the county continues to have to pay for the upkeep of the road. "The revenue from the same activity that is destroying the road is going to the state of Texas."
He said he also hopes residents in DeWitt County enjoy the benefits of the Eagle Ford Shale. "All oil booms come to an end at some point."
Goliad County judge
Increase the Goliad County tax base to ensure taxpayers' dollars are spent in the most efficient way possible. He hopes to increase the tax base through building incentives like the tax abatement given to DCP Midstream, an energy company, to build a natural gas processing facility, which is supposed to be in operation in the first quarter of 2014. The county continues to look for ways to trim the budget and stretch taxpayers' dollars. "We're always looking at small things that we could do."
Jackson County commissioner, Precinct 3
Use allocated money to rebuild roads in the La Salle area, which trucks in the oil-field industry drive on. Specifically, he wants to focus on 2 miles of County Road 328. He also wants "to continue to try to make the best decision I can for my constituents and for all of Jackson County."
"We have had three plants come into our county, and we're very thankful for those plants because they will be helping us with our tax dollars, and they are one of the reasons that we were able to have this extra money."
Lavaca County commissioner, Precinct 1
"We are trying to apply for a grant so we can improve some roads in Lavaca County. We have a lot of traffic, and it's oil-field traffic, so if we can get something from the state, we're going to try and take advantage of that."
Refugio County judge
"My hope for the county is to see continued growth in industry and job creation. It's been very refreshing, considering we just came out of a bad recession. We're seeing the lowest unemployment rates in over a decade, and I think that's very promising. It was 7.8 percent when I came into office in 2006 and is now at 4.4 percent. We've also had a number of new businesses open up, and I'm hopeful we will continue that trend."
Victoria County judge
"We are continuing to move forward with the available funding for damaged roads. There is over $600,000 available to us that we hope to get for later on in 2014. Certainly, we are going to continue to look at the courtroom expansion. ... We are going to do some renovations to the old Hartman Distributing building. We're looking at putting the justice of the peace office, constable, records management, maintenance and storage at that facility. Improvements at the airport are something else we will look at. "