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Citizens, politicos join to back Hays County road bonds

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Jacob Cottingham

Supporters of the Hays County road bonds chose a busy interchange between Buda and Kyle Monday to emphasize the need for road improvements and encourage voters to vote for the $207 million in bonds on Nov. 4

 

A retinue of Hays County politicians attended the event, which was organized by Hays Families for Safe Mobility.

 

Hays County Commissioners Jeff Barton, Debbie Ingalsbe and Will Conley attended as did Mayor Mike Gonzalez of Kyle, Mayor Susan Narvaiz of San Marcos as well as assorted city council members and former mayors of those towns and Buda.

 

Chuck Nash, the chairman of the Hays County Citizens Road Bond Committee, told the assembled that the commissioners had accepted 90 percent of the committee’s recommendations and said, “we think this bond will be overwhelmingly supported but we’re not going to take anything for granted.”

 

Amy Parham joked that “as a mom, the way I see it I have two and a half years to get the roads fixed, and you want me to get the roads fixed, because by then my son will be driving and you’ll want some shoulders to drive on.” Parham acted as MC for the event and at different points said that RR12 was “the most dangerous road in our county” and called the bond, “an economical choice” for Hays citizens.

 

Melissa Frensley, a mother from Buda, held two children at once as she related a story of a horrific car crash on a frontage road off FM 1626. She said such head-on collisions occur frequently along I-35, because “people are either going the wrong way or don’t yield to the ramps on and off 35.”  To illustrate the point even further, Parham had everyone in the assembled crowd of more than 30 supporters raise their hand if they knew someone who was in a wreck on one of the proposed bond roads. Every person did.

 

Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby said the safety of the roads was important to the fire department and said, “head-on collisions happen far to often” on the two-way frontage roads. “That can come to an end with the passage of this bond,” he said.  He cautioned that there was much more to the bond package than merely relieving congestion, although he noted this was a problem for emergency services.

 

Mayor Gonzalez spoke as big rigs in the background tied up traffic making wide turns. At one point during the press conference a car had to slam on its brakes in order to avoid a potential dangerous situation. He said “it’s important that we have safe roads to continue the economic development of the county,” and praised the mayors of Buda and San Marcos for their support. “We’re in the business of finding solutions for our citizens; we don’t have the luxury to talk about philosophy we just bring solutions to our citizens, and we believe this is the best possible plan that brings roads to our citizens now and doesn’t wait 10 or 15 years for the roads to come in after we’ve had explosive growth.” Kyle City Council Member Ray Bryant also spoke in favor of the bond.

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