County Road 1039 to Close; Commissioners Now Able to Set Speed Limits

September 4, 2019 - The Shelby County Commissioners are moving forward with the closure of a county road which connects U.S. Highway 96 North with FM 2026.

Josh McAdams addressed the commissioners about the closure of 696 feet of CR 1039. McAdams Propane Company, which belongs to his family, is located on U.S. Highway 96 at the intersection of FM 2026 (Folsom Chapel Road) and CR 1039 runs on the back side of the property.

McAdams now owns property on the other side of the roadway and is seeking to close 696 feet of the county road.

"We own the property on both sides of it, and we think it's a danger due to the sped of traffic off of FM 2026 and Highway 96. It's just a cut-through," said McAdams.

He said an additional problem they have had is people walking on the back side of the business' fence and stealing property.

"It's not going to close off anybody to their driveway, it would be past the last driveway," said McAdams.

Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, said he is in favor of closing the road.

"One of my main reasons is the safety issue of the way people drive through there and enter 96 and cut off of 96 turning in front of people," said McSwain.

He said he has further concern of how McSwain will be blocking the end of the roadway where CR 1039 meets FM 2026. McAdams said he would pay for that and do what McSwain would require. McSwain said he would like them to add a turnaround, guardrail at the end of the road and a ditch.

"This don't affect no one elses land. Where the turnaround is, they own everything past it to the farm road," said McSwain. "So they're not affecting no one else."

McSwain stated if there are any utilities running through that area, they will still require their access. The two utilities McAdams knows run through that area are Centerpoint Energy and telephone line.

Bellmyer said he drives by that area everyday and he said he does wonder what it's going to look like when the roadway is closed.

"It's just a wild guess, there's probably 300 people a day run up and down that road. I mean you can't come around 2026 that there's somebody not coming to meet you, so I don't know how it'll be communicated that you're going to cut the road off," said Bellmyer.

Bellmyer was concerned about the necessity of signage to inform drivers the road will be closed. McAdams said he is willing to take on the expense at the pleasure of the court and do whatever they tell him to do.

Judge Harbison recommended McAdams speak with a title company attorney to find out what documentation is appropriate to be filed with the county clerk.

A motion carried to close the roadway in two weeks from the meeting, September 18, 2019.

Tom Bellmyer, Precinct 4 Commissioner, stated this subject of speed limit signs in Precinct 4 is one the commissioners have discussed several times and a public hearing was recently held to allow for public input on the matter.

"It's a process we have to go through to allow a commissioner in his precinct to set safe and prudent speeds on either segments of, or entire county roads," said Bellmyer.

Bellmyer said the process the county has been going through is out of the transportation code.

According to the interpretation of the commissioners, further public hearings won't be necessary for future consideration of roadway speed adjustment.

A motion carried to allow all four commissioners to establish safe and prudent speeds on either segments or entire roads in their precinct.

The commissioners considered amendments to the county travel policy and Judge Harbison stated it was regarding county vehicle use and prisoner transfer.

"To me this amendment, we shouldn't be having to do this, it should be common sense not to haul an inmate in a personal car," said McSwain. "If you would have an accident, what would happen?"

The amendments read as follows: 1) Any county employee that has an issued (or available) reliable county vehicle for travel use will not use their personal vehicle for county business. If the employee chooses to use their personal vehicle, expense will be reimbursed as if it is a county vehicle and that is to provide gas receipts for reimbursement. It will not be reimbursed at the personal vehicle rate. Any exception to this policy must be approved prior to the travel by the Commissioners' Court.

2) Any prisoner is to be transported in a county owned vehicle only - no exceptions other than an ambulance or approved law enforcement transport company (This amendment was approved by the Sheriff).

A motion carried to approve the amendments.

Don Eddings, U.S. Forest Service, spoke with the commissioners about a cooperative agreement between Shelby County and the U.S. Forest Service who owns the roads while the county maintains them. The county and the forest service equally blade the roadways and apply rock to them.

According to Eddings, this is the second agreement which has been made with Shelby County. Angelina, Sabine, Jasper, San Augustine and Shelby County all have agreements with the U.S. Forest Service. Judge Harbison stated the agreement is just stating the county will continue the partnership with the U.S. Forest Service as they have over the past five years.

A motion carried to approve continuing the cooperative road agreement with the U.S. Forest Service.

The meeting was adjourned at 10am.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:

1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Current payroll.
3. Allow all four commissioners to establish safe and prudent speeds on either segments or entire roads in their precinct.
4. Close 696ft off County Road 1039 September 18, 2019. 
5. Amendments to be added to the County Travel policy.
6. Cooperative Road Agreement between Shelby County and USDA, Forest Service National Forest and Grasslands in Texas.
7. Adjourn.