On Wednesday, 7/10/19, Howard County Commissioners continued the discussion on eliminating over-the-road water line crossings due to the safety issues that occur when vehicles travel at high speeds over the crossings.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Craig Bailey, led the discussion on road boring, which is the underground installation of pipes, and water line crossings.
Noel Olivas, with Surge Energy, addressed the Court in an attempt to work with the Commissioners to find a solution that avoids eliminating the crossings because it would drastically affect their business due to the fact that road boring is expensive.
Kate Noble, External Affairs Advisor for SM Energy, along with 8 decision-makers from SM Energy were also in attendance for the discussion. Noble advised that the SM Energy’s number one priority is safety and that she and the decision makers were only there to listen to the discussion.
Throughout the course of the discussion, the court made it very clear that their main concern was the safe passage of people on the roads.
During the meeting, the Commissioners proposed that that crossings would be allowed on caliche roads because ramps can be built far enough out that it covers the crossing, but that is not possible on paved roads. Bailey advised that, by Texas State law, speed bumps are not allowed on County Roads.
Bailey also went on to say that inadequate signage also needs to be addressed as a safety issue because signs can get blown down or may be placed in an area that doesn’t allow significant amount of warning. He advised that road crossings signs would be required to be labeled with the company name and emergency contact number.
Ultimately, the agenda item was tabled to allow Surge Energy and SM Energy 2 weeks to respond with an alternative to the over-the-road water line crossings. The next meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court will be on July 24th.