The TxDoT Commission approved the Terry County Commissioners request Thursday to extend the deadline for their bid to receive almost $750,000 in road construction funds.
The original application deadline for the County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone (CETRZ) was scheduled for Feb. 14, but has been changed to March 14.
The next step in the process is to hold a public meeting, which commissioners have set for 11 a.m. Feb. 10 at the Terry County Annex building.
The purpose of the public hearing is to encourage public comments concerning where local residents think the zone should be located.
Due to the complicated application process, Terry County Judge J.D. Butch Wagner said many other counties in Texas had applied for extensions to the deadline.
“This is all a new process for us and it has a lot of steps to it,” said Wagner.
The purpose of the grant is to offer funds statewide for the purpose of refurbishing roads in Texas that are widely used in oil and gas production.
Terry County is eligible for $746,156 in funds. About $225 million is earmarked to be distributed statewide.
To get the grant allotment, commissioners must hold a public meeting, create an advisory board consisting of two private Terry County citizens as well as three other county residents involved in oil and gas production. They must also designate a County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone, fund the roadwork and then wait for reimbursement from Texas.
Wagner said he wasn’t certain about how big that zone is supposed to be, but that one of the areas possibly up for consideration would be roadways located in southwest portion of Terry County, which seems to have a great deal of oilfield traffic.
At first Terry County Commissioners voted not to pursue the grant, but later voted to reverse their position on the matter.
Commissioners then enlisted the help of Austin-based attorney James P. Allison of Allison, Bass & Magee, LLP to assist the county in filing for an extension to the application deadline.