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No changes have been made to this bill in House committee. The second chamber sponsor is Rep. Drew Springer.
First chamber recommendation:
The current population limit for counties to be able to build and maintain private roads is 5,000. This legislation proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution, changing the maximum population from 5,000 to 7,500 or less for counties to be able to have the authority to construct and maintain private roads. This is particularly an issue for rural counties where road usage has increased substantially despite only moderate increases in total population size. The bill author explains the desirability of this provision quite well:
"In small counties there are rarely private contractors available, so private roads are often poorly
maintained, creating public safety hazards for citizens and emergency services. For years,
counties have relied on this provision to maintain these roads and make them passable.
To utilize this provision, private landowners must not only consent, but they must pay for this
service as well. If the landowner does not wish to have their road paved or does not believe that
the cost is a reasonable rate, they do not have to participate."
We support this legislation for it's support of the personal responsibility of local citizens to pay for the creation and maintenance of private roads. In the absence of other contractors to be able to do the actual work of constructing and maintaining these roads, it is reasonable to allow the county to fill that role at the request and expense of the citizens.