JUDGE: County working on several different projects
Your Milam County government is working on several important projects for the betterment of the County.
Below are just a few of interest:
1. Flood plain mapping: We have no flood plain map of Milam County. It is important to know where the potential flooding has and will occur, particularly as new business look to come to the County. Thus, we have applied for a flood plain grant in the amount of $856,500 from the Texas Water Development Board for this purpose. We anticipate approval by the end of the year. If approved, the mapping project would be completed in about two years and it will be a huge benefit to all of us.
2. Railroad quiet zone – Cameron: The BNSF runs through downtown Cameron. In fact, 42 trains per day operate over the five crossings in Cameron, three of which are in the middle of downtown Cameron. Trains are required to blow the whistle for each crossing a quarter mile in advance of each crossing, which disrupts business and downtown activities. The County and the City of Cameron have partnered to take the first steps to create a “quite zone” whereby the trains will not have to blow the whistle for the crossings, unless there is an emergency. A consulting firm will be hired to determine the cost of needed protection and then further decisions can be made as to how to proceed.
3. Hog grant: Wild hogs are a big problem for agriculture in the county. The feral hogs travel the three rivers and creeks of the county like highways to infiltrate and damage over 300,000 acres of crops and pastureland throughout the county. We applied for a “bounty” grant through USDA, which was not funded, but we are going to get some badly needed help early next year. USDA advised last week of new funding for helicopter patrols and “smart trap” funding for 2021. We will meet with USDA representatives next month to get this process underway.
4. Broad band in Milam County: We need more high-speed broad band coverage in Milam County. High speed is defined by the FCC das 25 Mbps upload and 3 Mbps download. We estimate there are over 4,300 homes in the county without high-speed coverage. We are partnering with “Connected Nation Texas” through our Central Texas Council of Governments to take the first steps to fix this long standing problem. We will hold a “stakeholder meeting” next month and we will be sending out questionnaires to determine what is out there. Once, we obtain the necessary feedback, we will work to obtain funding to help fix the problem.
Thanks for your continued help and support.