Montgomery County Pct. 3 Commissioner James Noack says he will start a petition to put the proposed 249 toll road extension on the ballot if the county moves forward with the unpopular project. Although the proposed toll road is deeply unpopular, outgoing County Judge Craig Doyal is attempting to ram it through.
Doyal and Pct. 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley insist that the county should pay for the road and toll it, so that they can collect the revenue and spend it on their pet projects. Doyal and Riley’s top campaign donors will also benefit by receiving contracts for the construction of the road.
Although Noack believes the 249 extension should be built, he believes it should be built by TxDOT and not tolled. He has suggested using pass-through revenue available to the county to pay for the road instead of tolling it.
Noack wants to negotiate with TxDOT to see if they will take over the project. “If you all are not willing to do that then I will start a petition to stop this toll road and have TXDOT build it,” Noack told the other commissioners.
Section 284.037 of the Texas Transportation Code allows referendums on revenue bonds, the kind of bond Doyal and Riley want to use. However, in order to get the referendum on the ballot, a petition must first be signed by 10% of the registered voters in the county.
Noack’s proposed referendum has the overwhelming support of the public. In the March 6 primary, over 91% of Montgomery County Republican voters supported Proposition 2, which states that, “No governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval.”