Time to work together to move county forward

By Milam County Judge Steve Young


As your new County Judge, I am compelled to thank Judge Barkemeyer and our County Commissioners, including Commissioners Watkins, Shuffield, Fisher and Muegge for an excellent job of leading the county through eight of the toughest years since the Great Depression.  

The loss of Alcoa and Luminant took a heavy toll on every citizen, every business and every organization of the county. However, in spite of this hardship, the county has survived and prospered.  

Your county government is in good shape and financially stable. The county is still providing all of the services it provided prior to the closings, without a significant increase in taxes. We will continue to provide those services, including maintaining almost 1,000 miles of county roads, law enforcement through our fine new Sheriff White, four Constables and four Justices of the Peace. 

County District Attorney, Bill Torrey, continues to be tough on crime and just this week he and his staff litigated and received 42 Grand Jury indictments. Our County and District Courts are working long hours to keep the criminal and civil dockets current as we know that justice delayed is justice denied.

In the meantime, the county has grown. Our population has increased significantly because of people moving here from the Austin and Temple areas. Our central location makes the county a perfect place to live to avoid the high cost of urban living. 

New housing in the county doubled last year from 42 in 2017 to 95 in 2018. Land prices continue to increase in the county due to the large influx of new citizens. This trend will continue due to the exponential growth in Austin and Temple as Texas is the fastest growing state in the nation.  

We are located in close proximity to large colleges and universities such as Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Blinn and others that provide an excellent source of educated workers for new business that will undoubtedly come to the county.

We have great assets in the county, such as our transportation system, the power grid, underground water and great entrepreneurs.  

The nation’s largest railroads, the BNSF and UP, crisscross the County and intersect in Milano; Highways 77, 79, 36 and 190 provide great access for truck shipping.  We have massive power lines originating at Alcoa that are connected to the nations power grid, supplying abundant electricity to the county; a large underground water supply and some really great entrepreneurs such as 44 Farms, Standards Home Health, EBCO, Ideal Poultry and Mine Services, just to name a few.  All of this adds up to a successful county!

Your county leaders met last week in our historic courthouse and we all agreed we must have a positive attitude in order to move the county forward.  We will build on the achievements of Judge Barkemeyer’s administration and together we will move Milam forward!