- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By CHARLES RICHARDS
The five-member governing board of the Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday gave final approval for the request of the Sulphur River Regional Mobility Authority (SuRRMA) to borrow up to $4.428,039 from the State Infrastructure Bank for the Texas 24 widening project in Delta County.
“All that is left is to have signatures placed on all final draft documents. A big thanks to everyone involved since the start of the Highway 24 campaign,” SuRRMA chairman Delbert Horton said in an e-mail to community leaders.
In Paris on Thursday night, applause broke out during the meeting of the Paris City Council when Steve Gilbert, executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) announced the commission’s approval at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Texas Department of Transportation.
The action gives TxDOT the go-ahead to widen Texas Highway 24 along the last 10 miles of two-lane highway between Paris and Interstate 30. It means trucks in the not-too-distant future will be able to travel on divided, four-lane highways to Paris and will open up a new north-south four-lane corridor using the Indian Nation Turnpike..
Upon the recommendation of commission chairman Phil Wilson, the commission gave the preliminary OK during its April meeting for the loan to SuRMMA, the City of Paris, Lamar County, Paris Economic Development Commission, the City of Cooper and Delta County.
The Texas Department of Transportation will perform the work, including right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation, and SuRRMA will pay 100 percent of the costs of right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation for the project, which stretches from Cooper to the Hunt County line.
The City of Paris, Lamar County and the Paris Economic Development Corporation agreed earlier this year to borrow $1.5 million each. Delta County and the City of Cooper are participating to a less degree.
SuRRMA intends to make payments due on the loans with funds provided by the various government entities. Delta County is not participating in the SIB loans, but is expected to contribute cash for its portion of the costs.
The loan is at 3.68 percent interest over 20 years.
Based upon departmental review and analysis of the application, the commission made the following findings: (1) the RMA has pledged repayment of the SIB loans with contract revenues to be received by the RMA pursuant to the interlocal agreement to assure likely repayment of the financial assistance; (2) the project is consistent with the Statewide Transportation Plan; (3) the project will improve the efficiency of the state’s transportation systems; ( 4) the project will expand the availability of :funding for transportation projects or reduce state costs; and (5) the application shows that the project and the applicant are likely to have sufficient revenues to assure repayment of the financial assistance.
“IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED by the commission that the application for SIB financial assistance submitted by the RMA to borrow an aggregate amount up to $4,428,039 from the State Infrastructure Bank is granted final approval. The executive director or his authorized representative is directed and authorized to enter into the financial assistance agreements as negotiated with the RMA. The loans will be repaid over a period of no more than 20 years at 3.68 percent interest per annum. The final maturity date will be June 29,2032.”
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