County contacts FRA


The Madison County Commissioner’s Court carried a motion during their Monday meeting to send a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regarding the proposed high speed rail.

“Based on the information currently available and the lack of coordination thus far, any relocation or realignment of public roads within our county is not acceptable and will not be granted,” said the approved letter penned by Judge “Butch” McDaniel. “Madison County will not accept additional road beds for our responsibility and maintenance without a longterm maintenance reimbursement plan in place.”

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the FRA included the realignment or relocation of many public roads within the county. The court was also under the impression that it proposed new roads to be constructed within the county.

The board’s letter requested necessary adjustments to the statement to maintain all current alignments in their jurisdiction.

“At this point, we can’t evaluate the impacts to our county until the assumptions are consistent with regulations and the policies of the Commissioners Court,” said McDaniel’s letter. “We can’t even begin our detailed review until this has been updated.”

The court also moved to delay passing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the county and the city of Madisonville until officials from both parties have discussed it.

The proposed MOU stated that the county will not charge the city of Madisonville for the use of the county jail including dispatch nor pay the budgeted amount to the Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department. In return, the city will not charge the Madison County Jail for water or sewer services provided. However, the jail will be billed for garbage collection services and street lights.

The MOU was nothing new. In fact, it has been at least broadly discussed and unofficially agreed upon by the city and the county. However, some members of the court felt that some of the wording should be edited.

“This is primarily what we agreed upon, and we certainly want to keep working with the city on this,” said commissioner Thomas Collard. “We would just prefer a chance to get with the city and discuss it.”

No action has yet been taken on the MOU.

In other business, the county:

* Approved agreement between Madison County and San Jacinto County for housing overflow Madison County Jail inmates.

* Approved requirements of deceased pauper status and update order regarding disposition for the body of deceased paupers as approved in Commissioners Court on April 25, 2016.

* Approved transport and payment of cremation for J. Fletcher.