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Texas: Gas Tax Dollars Spent to Build Park
theNewspaper.com ^ | April 15, 2008 | theNewspaper.com

Posted on 04/16/2008 5:26:27 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Texas Department of Transportation that claims it has no money for roads uses $20 million in gas tax funds to build a park.

Woodall Rodgers ParkThe Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation announced yesterday that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) would hand over $20 million in gas tax funds to help build a 5.2 acre park near downtown Dallas. The $67 million park is intended to serve as a model public-private partnership with a restaurant, a children's playground and a dog park. It will have no roads.

"The park... will connect Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, and is expected to become a regional attraction," the foundation explained in a statement.

TxDOT on several occasions has made the claim that the agency is "out of money" and therefore has no choice but to convert existing freeways into toll roads (view TxDOT plan). In February, the state's top two legislative leaders called for an audit of TxDOT's finances after the agency admitted that it had misstated its finances by more than $1 billion, helping to create the impression that it was out of money.

People for Efficient Transportation founder Sal Costello questioned TxDOT's motives in spending gas tax funds on the project.

"I'm all for parks, but why is money from our transportation budget paying for a park?" Costello asked. "And why would TxDOT give $20 million to a foundation full of special interests instead of the city to do the job?"

Costello pointed out that the foundation's board and steering committee include key employees of companies that stand to profit from the agency's toll road plans that are in need of public relations support. JP Morgan is part of the team that intends to build the Trans Texas Corridor toll road. Carter and Burgess, a Fort Worth-based engineering consultant is heavily involved in tolling projects in the state. Both companies have seats on the foundation steering committee.

The park is scheduled to open in late 2011.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: audit; carterandburgess; dallas; energy; fueltax; fundingcrunch; gasoline; gasolinetax; gastax; highwayfunding; jpmorgan; misappropriation; p3; park; pet; pork; ppp; salcostello; tax; texas; tolling; tollroads; tolls; tollways; transtexascorridors; ttc; tx; txdot; woodallrogers

1 posted on 04/16/2008 5:26:28 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: TxDOT; 1066AD; 185JHP; Abcdefg; Adrastus; Alamo-Girl; antivenom; AprilfromTexas; B4Ranch; B-Chan; ..

Trans-Texas Corridor PING!


2 posted on 04/16/2008 5:27:10 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (To the liberal, there's no sacrifice too big for somebody else to make. --FReeper popdonnelly)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Hope the next Texas Legislature takes notice.

TXDOT is whoring for PPPs.

3 posted on 04/16/2008 5:41:47 AM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Three years, $20 million, 5.2 acres. Somebody, or perhaps, several sombodies, will be living high on the hog until 2011 or longer.


4 posted on 04/16/2008 5:45:49 AM PDT by CPOSharky (Energy plan: Build refineries and nuke plants, drill for our oil, mine our coal.)
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To: CPOSharky

Ahhh Texas. Rick Perry & the Mexico highway extension plan, eminent domain, the potential of adopting out the children of the El Dorado compound, the tolling of our roads...no surprise lately. Texas is a take it and run with it sort of state.


5 posted on 04/16/2008 6:02:03 AM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

And I thought it was just NC that raided the highway funds for overspending. Good Roads state indeed!


6 posted on 04/16/2008 6:04:10 AM PDT by AT7Saluki
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
My yard is bigger than 5 acres. I didn't spend anywhere near 20 million planting trees and making flower beds in my park-like yard.

This park, with a restaurant, children's playground, and dog walk sounds like it will be very cramped, and not very "park like" at all. Seems like a large price tag for a small building, some trees from the local nursery, a bit of sod, a jungle gym, and pea gravel for a pathway.

7 posted on 04/16/2008 6:07:56 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

TXDOT is lying about being broke so that the voters will capitulate and approve the Spanish toll road supported by their clueless politicians in Austin.
With $115/bbl. oil dollars flooding into state coffers, we ought to be asking where all that loot is going, if not into our roads. And by the way, why is gas $3.30 in Texas, but $3.05 in New Jersey?
Drivers in the US are stuck on stupid in this “energy crisis” in which there is a surplus of gas and demand is dwindling.


8 posted on 04/16/2008 6:09:15 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

BTTT


9 posted on 04/16/2008 6:09:40 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: kittymyrib
"why is gas $3.30 in Texas, but $3.05 in New Jersey? Drivers in the US are stuck on stupid in this “energy crisis” in which there is a surplus of gas and demand is dwindling."

because gas taxes in Texas are higher?

Damn rights people are being duped and ripped off in this fake energy crisis. The only crisis there is, is record profit making by oil companies and tycoons controlling traders driving up the barrel price of oil for any reason and rumor such as the nieghbor spilling some gas filling up his lawnmower, government tax gouging- the higher the price the more tax they get, and the Arabs keeping supplies tight by restricting oil output.

10 posted on 04/16/2008 6:19:21 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

TxDOT has built several very large light “poles” along roads and some intersections in this area. Also, there is a huge electronic “bulletin” sign on a huge pole as you enter Abilene. Most of the time it is unused but is supposed to warn travelers. I don’t understand the need and I bet it cost a pretty penny. Who pays for the landscaping that is being done near small towns? It looks great but is that TxDOT’s job?


11 posted on 04/16/2008 6:43:31 AM PDT by outinyellowdogcountry
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To: wolfcreek; Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The good thing about the internet is that you don't have to rely on mis-info from people like Dan Rather or the above article.

This park has its own website. Can you imagine a park built above the freeway?

12 posted on 04/16/2008 10:03:49 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin

Provide the link, please. If what you say is true, the Newspaper.com editor needs to be beaten with a rubber hose.


13 posted on 04/16/2008 12:10:00 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (To the liberal, there's no sacrifice too big for somebody else to make. --FReeper popdonnelly)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Even their website is high $.

I'm all for making cities more attractive and accessible but, no one asked me if I wanted to put in my 2 cents. (or several hundred $s)

David Dewhurst and TXDOT can kiss my ass or cheerfully refund my portion.

14 posted on 04/16/2008 12:34:39 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Please don’t think that I’m lazy, even tho I am, but you should do a keyword search because there much more info than just the website


15 posted on 04/16/2008 1:32:19 PM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: wolfcreek
Its probably not TxDot money, just being funneled thru TxDot. Most likely it is urban park money and Texas is getting the federal money only because Bush is steering it.

A similar arrangement was when money for Little League baseball diamonds got funneled thru Parks and Wildlife.

Looking at the cost/benefit, it is a much, much better investment than, say, providing a free road for a sprawler on a mobile home estate/mini-ranchette in Williamson County

16 posted on 04/16/2008 1:33:08 PM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: kittymyrib

Independent Audit of TXDOT NOW!


17 posted on 04/16/2008 1:34:51 PM PDT by hadaclueonce (shoot low, they are riding Shetlands..)
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To: Ben Ficklin

“providing a free road for a sprawler on a mobile home estate/mini-ranchette in Williamson County”

Obviously you haven’t been to Williamson county recently. Most of those are things of the past.

Now get back to reading your Neo-Liberalist Newsletter, Mr. Gated comm. sprawler.


18 posted on 04/16/2008 1:40:31 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: wolfcreek

Remember back in the old days when there was a region of Texas known as the Hill Country? Now they call that the House on Top of the Hill Country.


19 posted on 04/16/2008 1:57:11 PM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Gotta spruce up downtown Dallas in anticipation of the new library and it's name sake.....


20 posted on 04/16/2008 2:04:46 PM PDT by deport ( -- Cue Spooky Music --)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Tell me! My MIL lives in Kerrville and that entire region is growing at an unbelievable rate. (Bandera, Uvalde, Fredricksburg, anywhere within driving distance of Austin, San Antonio. Only the wealthy need apply.

Why do you think I want to put a cap on growth in this state? I'd like to save some of it for my grand and great grand children.

21 posted on 04/16/2008 2:12:06 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: wolfcreek

“Why do you think I want to put a cap on growth in this state? I’d like to save some of it for my grand and great grand children.”

Are you being sarcastic? Tell me you are. Other states are praying that people stop leaving. Texas is blessed with growth.


22 posted on 04/21/2008 8:33:08 AM PDT by cowtowney
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To: cowtowney

We’re praying people quit leaving their state and coming here.

It would be fine if they assimilated (some do) but, many want to change Texas into where they come from with it’s social issues and taxes. We can’t have that.

Sound like illegals don’t they?

A major reason is lack of water. Until we can find a way to produce more, there needs to be somewhat of a population control.


23 posted on 04/21/2008 12:01:46 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: wolfcreek

“Until we can find a way to produce more, there needs to be somewhat of a population control.”

First of all, I’m from Cowtown. Second of all, population control is decidedly un-Texan. Sort of a drawbridge mentality.

I agree with the not wanting the northern influence, though.

Maybe, they need an orientation or something.


24 posted on 04/21/2008 1:52:11 PM PDT by cowtowney
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To: cowtowney
We can't have unbridled population growth in a state with idiots running the asylum.

Example: With the Highland lakes at full stage right now, the LCRA is selling more water than ever. It's definitely unsustainable.

25 posted on 04/21/2008 2:16:12 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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