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Shale riches helping South Texas towns pay for upgrades
Fuel Fix ^ | April 24, 2014 | Jennifer Hiller

Posted on 04/28/2014 5:22:32 AM PDT by thackney

South Texas communities seem to have come to the same conclusion: The Eagle Ford is here and they’ll be dealing with it for the long term.

Although no one anticipated the oil boom or was able to plan for it, communities have started devoting more money to long-term planning.

McMullen County Judge James Teal joked this week at the Eagle Ford Consortium’s annual conference that if he had known the Eagle Ford would have been so big, he would have “probably kept my job in oil and gas.”

But given the historic boom-bust cycle in Texas, Teal and other officials said it was at first difficult to know how to respond to the drilling.

“It’s hard to put that much money on it when you’re not sure if it’s going to last,” Teal said. “I think we’re pretty well convinced it’s going to last for a while.”

Some communities have been able to use the extra tax dollars to add or improve community centers, something that’s generally seen as a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Pleasanton this week opened a new civic center and 10,000-square-foot library. How did they pay for it?

“Cash,” said Bruce Pearson, the Pleasanton city manager.

Despite increased taxes, the region lacks enough money to take care of damage that heavy industry trucks have caused to the region’s roads. Increased traffic and the newly-awful road conditions are among the most common complaints in the region.

State Rep. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa said the state needs to step up and help communities cope with a broad range of issues, from roads to the environment. “This is not going away. This is not going to stop,” Hinojosa said.

Developer Marty Wender called the Eagle Ford “a major game changer for San Antonio.”

Billionaire Red McCombs said that some restaurants in San Antonio have had to raise their base pay for inexperienced workers to $10 an hour — a direct result of the higher salaries workers can get in the oil field to the south.

“That is an example of what happens in a community when there is activity like we have in the Eagle Ford,” McCombs. “In our lifetime we never expected the Eagle Ford.”

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: eagleford; energy; oil; shale

1 posted on 04/28/2014 5:22:32 AM PDT by thackney
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To: thackney

The state highways are taking a beating and need to be fixed pronto. Surely the state is reaping enough cash benefit from this oil and gas boom to fix the roads. That ought to be priority #1 because the people can actually see how the money is being spent, as opposed to boondoggles such as education, where the results of increased spending are negligible or worse.

2 posted on 04/28/2014 5:33:09 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: thackney

Take my word for it: do NOT get a traffic ticket in McMullin County for any reason, but especially for speeding. Don’t ask me how I know. My wallet and wife, are still mad it at me.
Lot’s of highway upgrades are ongoing down here, especially Hwy 72 between Fowlerton and Cuero which is basically the backbone of the Eagle Ford. Other side roads need some upgrades badly. Heavy truck traffic takes its toll quickly.
Many of the little towns all along Hwy. 72 are undertaking major expansions of their public facilities etc. I drive by Yorktown and Kenedy, TX daily and both have large high school expansions going on right now.
But according to Obama: “We didn’t build that...” Screw that foreign, Saudi-0il loving POS. The way I see it. Every barrel of oil I can help get out of the ground down here in the Eagle Ford, it one less barrel that Obama’s buddies can’t import to the U.S. DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!

3 posted on 04/28/2014 6:42:28 AM PDT by lgjhn23 (It's easy to be liberal when you're dumber than a box of rocks.)
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