TxDOT seeks county money

July 16, 2014

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are trying to get Hood County to pay 10 percent of a court judgment against the state agency.

TxDOT claims the county owes another $137,000 on its portion of the Loop 567 project – $110,000 of which is to help with a $1.1 million court judgment.

In May, a jury found in favor of two businessmen who claimed TxDOT’s work on the Loop resulted in elevation and drainage problems on 113 lots owned by Stockton Bend 100 Joint Venture. The property is two to three miles from downtown Granbury.

Attorney Mary Barkley told the jury that, thanks to TxDOT, the land intended for a subdivision now has a highway that is “5 to 9 feet elevated above the rest of the property,” presenting issues that include problems with ingress and egress.

In an email about the project sent to county Road Operations Director Don Linney on Wednesday, July 2, TxDOT representative Judy Brown wrote:

“Future utility relocation payments estimated at $100,000 are expected. Hood County would participate in 10 percent of this amount ($10,000). In addition, Hood County would participate in the jury award of $1,128,277 for Parcel 8 ($112,827.70). The State will be appealing this award.”

County officials are having trouble understanding why Hood County taxpayers should help foot the bill for a court judgment against TxDOT.

Early last week, Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Berry emailed Brian Barth, district engineer for the Fort Worth District, challenging the Department’s claim that the county owes more money.

On Monday, Berry told the Hood County News: “We didn’t go to court with them (TxDOT).

“We didn’t have any say in it. Why are we responsible for 10 percent of that $1.1 million judgment?”

Berry said the matter has not yet been resolved, but is under review by Barth.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 258

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