Bell County projects in the House road plan include $8.5 million to build a multi-lane access road to Asher Industrial Park. The Asher Industrial Park venture would connect the park site to U.S. Hwy. 119 — a project that has been on the wish lists of Bell County political figures for some time. Another $1.4 million is expected to move a two mile stretch of Hwy. 1534 North, in order to make way for a guardrail.
“I have been assured from State Senator Brandon Smith and Senate President David Williams that this measure will pass the Senate without dissent,” said Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock. Brock went on to say that this funding, if passed through the senate, will mean more for Bell County than road project. Brock expects these funds to anchor an RV park and campground, as well as boost adventure tourism.
“These funds will allow the county to establish an RV park and campground,” said Brock. “Furthermore, I am assured that sewage and water funds will be available to us for the site.”
Brock believes that with this funding, every barrier to the Asher Industrial Park will be brought down. Once sewer and water service is available to the site, Brock says business can move forward in Bell County. Brock said that several groups have already visited the industrial park and each seem very enthusiastic about its potential. Industries are simply waiting to move onto a completed property.
State Senator Brandon Smith is honored to promote a project that could benefit his district. “There was a lot of cooperation with the House,” stated Smith. “We in the Transportation Committee pulled the funding down and I was very pleased.”
Smith and Brock agreed that this plan is a joint effort of state and local government. “This funding is the kind of thing that can happen when local government and state legislature work together,” said Brock.
If the road plan is passed by the Senate and becomes law, State Representative Rick Nelson said that the state road bonds would immediately be sold to fund the local projects. Construction on the projects should begin this year.
“Even though the economy is slow, this is our chance to compete and have infrastructure in place when we have an economic turnaround,” Nelson said.
Sarah Miracle is a staff writer for the Daily News. She can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.