County sets up reinvestment zone for south Limestone

By Roxanne McKnight
Limestone County commissioners court set up a County Energy Reinvestment Zone at last Monday’s meeting, a required step for the county to access a state reimbursement fund for road damage caused by over-sized trucks, mainly from the oil and gas industry.
The court also is required to appoint members to an advisory board consisting of two citizens from the public and three people who are in the oil-and-gas industry. The advisory board must meet once a quarter.
County Judge Daniel Burkeen suggested appointing Brent Fewell, with Devon Energy, as one of the industry members.
“They don’t have any power,” Burkeen said of the advisory board members. “They can get together and meet and advise commissioners court. We can listen to them or not listen to them; they have no authority to take any action.”
County Road Engineer Ted Kantor was not at the meeting, but Burkeen indicated that Kantor would have suggestions for candidates for the advisory board, mainly a contact from XTO.
Commissioner John McCarver said Mike Wilson would like to serve as one of the two public citizens on the board.
Also regarding the reinvestment zone, Burkeen encouraged the court to make the zone contiguous with the two Emergency Service districts that cover the southern half of the county, as they had discussed at previous meetings.
Burkeen said some other counties are drawing their zones extremelly small because one of the requirements for getting the state money is that any increased taxes due to increased valuations in the energy zones must be used for road projects. He recommended that Limestone County, however, not do that.
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