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County road use fees gaining strength

August 10, 2013

Further movement toward establishing a road use fee and finding a new justice of the peace will top the agenda when Howard County commissioners meet at 10 a.m. Monday in the third-floor courtroom of the county courthouse.
Commissioners will review a recent opinion from the Texas Attorney General's office that gives a green light — for the most part — to plans to charge a fee to oil field company trucks which use county roads. That money would be used to help pay for needed repairs to the deteriorating roads.
“The A.G.'s office pretty much said we can do it, as long as it's at a reasonable price,” Howard County Judge Mark Barr said. “It's a very broad opinion, so we'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out just what a 'reasonable' fee is.”
The court recently gave the go-ahead for the county to begin charging for permits — deemed road use agreements — that will have the companies using the roadways paying at least a portion of the overall bill to repair them.

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