POSTED: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 7:53pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 12:00pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — Segment 4 of Toll Toad 49 is the latest controversy here in Smith county.
Segment 4 will be a 57 mile zone extending north of Lindale, to the Smith/Gregg county line.
The cause of this controversy is the use of local county funds on a state project, through the "Transportation Reinvestment Zone", or T.R.Z.
JoAnn Fleming, the executive director of Grass Roots America, says, "How in the world can you give away tax dollars to a state project when we don't have enough money to do what we need to do for county roads"?
The public meeting held Friday was to hear local opinion on using T.R.Z. to complete this project by the end of the following year.
If T.R.Z is not used the project will not be complete until 2033.
Smith County Judge Joel Baker says, "We want to hear from the public and we're going to continue to do that".
The main misunderstanding is this will not increase taxes.
However, tax revenue will be collected for 25 years on new construction within a mile of Toll 49.
Economists expect 30 to 40 million dollars in revenue to be collected for Smith County alone.
Although not everyone feels this will be a benefit.
Fleming says, "The issue for Grass Roots America is not whether or not we want toll 49 completed. The issue is the neglect of county roads".
In 30 days votes will be made about this issue.