Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission awards $3.71 million in recreational trail grants to Texas communities

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission awards $3.71 million in recreational trail grants to Texas communities

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved $3.71 million dollars in grants to fund 22 motorized and non-motorized recreational trail-related projects across the state. The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) funds recreational trail construction, renovation and acquisition. The grants are funded from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases for off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers. Thirty percent of the total NRTF grants must be earmarked for motorized recreational trails, while another 30 percent must be spent on…

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Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

It is undeniable—the Austin area is booming. More people have moved to Travis County and its surrounding area, including Hays County. As populations grow, so must infrastructure, but matters become complicated in ecologically sensitive areas like the one we call home. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, has put forward a plan to address the transportation needs of the Austin area over the next 25 years. Both the Edwards Aquifer and the Blanco River watersheds will be negatively…

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Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

The next Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting is TUESDAY, April 28th at 9:00 AM – please contact the following elected officials in advance to state your views! judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2205; mark.jones@co.hays.tx.us (512) 262-2091; jhughson@sanmarcostx.gov (512) 393-8091; debbiei@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2243; lon.shell@co.hays.tx.us (512) 847-3159; walt.smith@co.hays.tx.us (512) 858-7268 You can also send a message to the entire 23 member CAMPO board by clicking here.  It’s truly amazing how much our Hill Country community of Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties have come together to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway pipeline. Uniting against this existential, external threat has…

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Monarch butterfly gets protection in ‘historic’ deal

Monarch butterfly gets protection in ‘historic’ deal

The Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled a sweeping, multistate plan to protect the monarch butterfly without adding it to the Endangered Species Act list. A long time in the making, the plan called, in part, a “candidate conservation” agreement unites state and federal officials with energy and transportation industry leaders on a common cause. “Completing this agreement is a huge boost for the conservation of monarch butterflies and other pollinators on a landscape scale,” FWS chief Aurelia Skipwith said in…

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Petition circulates against relief route

Petition circulates against relief route

A petition to stop the Texas Department of Transportation’s technically preferred route around Fredericksburg is being distributed. Citizens for an Informed Relief Route (CIRR), a local group that has been active in relief route conversations, created this petition after a “No Build” option wasn’t presented in the most recent relief route open house on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Gary Saucier, who created CIRR, feels “most of the county citizens are unaware or not in favor” of TxDOT’s proposed route. The petition…

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Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Cities up and down the I-35 corridor have experienced explosive growth over the last decade, but the counties adjacent to them have largely escaped the surge of people. That all appears to be over, with the urban expansion beginning to head their way. “We have three of the fastest growing counties – not only in Texas but in the entire country – in Hays, Comal and Kendall counties,” said Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance. Romans’ mission…

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Over 60 roadway improvements require relocation of water and wastewater lines

Over 60 roadway improvements require relocation of water and wastewater lines

  • December 16, 2019
  • News

At the Dec. 11 meeting of the Water and Wastewater Commission, Austin Water presented an update on the 65 active transportation improvement projects that necessitate the repositioning of water utility lines. Of those projects, 56 percent are in the planning period, 22 percent are in the design stage, 17 percent are in construction, and 5 percent are still in the bid phase. “I am really blown away by the amount of work that is here,” said William Moriarty, chair of…

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San Antonio’s challenge: Protect the aquifer and get real with VIA Funding

San Antonio’s challenge: Protect the aquifer and get real with VIA Funding

San Antonio’s efforts to increase funding for VIA Metropolitan Service to give citizens a better mass transit system suffered a significant setback last week and left mobility advocates uncertain of the road ahead. The ConnectSA initiative right now is a plan without funding, and VIA’s historic underfunding compared to other Texas metro areas leaves it with ambitious plans that it cannot execute. At least $1.3 billion is needed to fund the 25 projects by 2025 recommended in the ConnectSA plan.…

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Nirenberg calls for shifting sales tax to VIA Transit, away from Aquifer Protection

Nirenberg calls for shifting sales tax to VIA Transit, away from Aquifer Protection

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined other local leaders this week in calling for  a one-eighth-cent sales tax to be redirected towards funding mass transit – and away from popular water quality protection and trailway programs. Voters would need to approve the new appropriation of the existing tax, and City Council’s OK is is required to set the ballot language for the November 2020 election. The Advanced Transportation District board, comprising VIA Metropolitan Transit board members, would first call for…

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TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

  • September 30, 2019
  • News

Colleen Waguespack, president of Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development, is among thousands of Northsiders familiar with the challenges that come with driving Loop 1604. Waguespack and more than 100 others gathered at Resurrection Baptist Church on Redland Road on Tuesday to review schematics and drawings that outline a State plan to widen 23 miles of the freeway. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposed to expand Loop 1604 to a 10-lane roadway between Bandera Road (Texas Highway 16) and Interstate…

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