Commissioner Noack calls for petition to force referendum on SH249
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack is seeking to generate a petition to push the construction of the 249 Tollway to a vote. The Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA) will vote to award the contract during its scheduled 10 a.m. session on Tuesday and begin the process of issuing nearly $56 million in revenue bonds without voter approval.
In a conversation with MCTRA Attorney Richard Muller, he confirmed to Commissioner Noack that the MCTRA will use its statutory authority under transportation code 284 to issue revenue bonds which, according to the code, may be authorized without an election. If an election is not held, notice of intention to issue the bonds must be given as provided by state law.
However, the authority to issue revenue bonds is subject to the right of referendum. If a written petition is signed by at least 10 percent of qualified voters whose names appear as property taxpayers on the most recently approved tax roll then the governing body (MCTRA) may not authorize the expenditure or finally award the contract unless the 249 toll road is approved by a majority of the votes received in a referendum.
“I am preparing to do all I can to force this to a vote should MCTRA cite transportation code 284 to issue this debt. This is my call to action to make sure the voices of taxpayers in Montgomery County are heard,” said Commissioner Noack. “I will need everyone’s support in order to make this happen.”
During the MCTRA’s scheduled Tuesday session, Commissioner Noack is calling for a deferral of action item A, which seeks to award the contract for the construction of the 249 toll road. “I am adamantly opposed to approving this item so prematurely,” said Commissioner Noack.
“Why is the toll road authority in such a rush to award the contract when we haven’t even received or accepted the final traffic and revenue study which proves the project is toll viable?”
In addition, in order for a purchase order to be opened or to issue a notice to proceed to the vendor, the county auditor must certify funds to award the contract. MCTRA does not have the nearly $56 million required to certify these funds so neither a complete purchase order or notice to proceed can be issued.
Just over 91 percent of Republican Primary voters in Montgomery County supported proposition 2 which stated that no governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval. Voters in Precinct 2, where the toll road is proposed to be constructed, led the way representing nearly 1/3 of all voters countywide in support of proposition 2.
“It’s time for the voters voice to be heard and I will lead the fight to make it happen,” Commissioner Noack said.