Recently I have heard from many of my constituents in the Needville and Tierra Grande area about a proposed rail line between the Port of Freeport and Rosenberg. Maps were recently published by the Brazoria Fort Bend Rail District depicting several combinations of alignments. These maps have understandably caused a good deal of uncertainty, anxiety and a sense of urgency in and among the communities that would be impacted. In an age of information and misinformation I wanted to share with you what I know, what I have done and what my position as your County Commissioner is.
First of all, it is important for you to know- these routes are strictly proposals. These routes will be heavily scrutinized by various federal agencies, and will be subject to an intense public comment and input period. Every single one of you will have your opportunity to share your input about these proposed alignments. None of my constituency will have their voice denied.
Secondly, at my insistence last year- the County Commissioner’s Court replaced our previous two appointees with Precinct 1 residents who are active leaders and stakeholders in their respective communities of Needville and Rosenberg. It is critical that you know that you have representation on the Rail District Board as these two appointees are your neighbors and fellow Precinct 1 citizens.
Finally, I want you to know at the urging of myself and Brazoria County Commissioner Linder- that the Board authorized the creation of a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) to receive input from, and serve as a conduit of communication between the community and the Rail District. This CAP is made up of property owners just like you, and had their first meeting on October 9. I look forward to the flow of communication to and from this CAP, as should you.
In conclusion I want to say that I have always considered myself to be pro-business and pro economic development. I believe in and support the free flow of commerce, and efficient transportation for citizens and industry alike. But at the end of the day, I simply cannot support routes that are harmful and so negatively impact my communities.