While many strides were made in the previous legislative session in regards to Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), farmers and ranchers feel there are still concerns to address, a Texas Farm Bureau representative told state senators in a transportation committee meeting recently.
“We believe the impact of the TTC will be devastating to the agriculture industry and to rural communities,” McLennan County Farm Bureau President Marc Scott said at the Austin hearing.
The lack of access due to the division of family farms and ranches, the massive condemnation proceedings that would trail in the wake of corridor approval and the usage of regional water resources for the construction were all among concerns Scott raised before the committee.
“As a personal note, the 1,700 acres that I produce on are all within the footprint of the proposed TTC,” Scott, a cow/calf and hay producer, said. “So this issue is very near and dear to my heart. My livelihood depends on the outcome of the TTC.”
Scott said Texas Farm Bureau is urging lawmakers to use existing rights-of-way whenever new road or highway construction is under consideration, provide access points for landowners divided by roadways and ensure FM roads would not be spliced by highways.
The state’s largest family farm organization is also pressing state reforms on eminent domain law, urging lawmakers to consider relocation costs for families affected by something as large as the corridor, as well as good faith offers on the land’s best and highest use whenever condemnation proceedings take place.
Scott said farmers and ranchers whose land is targeted by the proposed TTC feel strongly that many landowner concerns have not been adequately addressed.
“The delegate body of the Texas Farm Bureau has voted overwhelming to continue to oppose the TTC,” Scott said. “Our county leaders have spent four years studying this project and attending public meetings held in counties throughout the state. While we readily admit that many changes have occurred to lessen the sting of the corridor, there are still more issues that need to be resolved.”