Young County Commissioners learned prior to their Nov. 26 meeting that the county is eligible for $577,700 of money allocated by the state of Texas under SB 1747.

At the Monday, Dec. 9, county commissioners meeting, the court established that it will set up a public hearing regarding the establishment of zones specifically for the allocation of these funds. This money, $225 million for the entire state, is set aside for county roads heavily impacted by repeated transportation linked to the energy sector.

SB 1747 was passed after HB 1025 sought to address the impact that energy sector activity throughout the state’s infrastructure caused. Now that Young County Commissioners know what they have to work with, they must establish which roads need the most attention within their precincts.

County Commissioner Mike Sipes said that the money is more than the commissioners court thought it would receive while initially pursuing grants for Young County, but that it still only accounts for what he estimates to be about 10 percent of needed road repairs.

Under the stipulations of SB 1747, Young County must put up its own money in the amount of 20 percent of the total money granted by the state. This money will also go to needed road repairs.

“With $577,000, and with us adding 20 percent, we’re going to be near $700,000 worth of road work to do on our roads,” Sipes said. “That’s very significant for the folks in Young County. Our roads need it. Our roads have long needed it, and I’m very happy with what we were able to get.”

Allocation of funds granted by SB 1747 is assessed by how much activity related to the energy sector is occurring in each county. This means that more prolific oil-producing counties are allocated more funding. Jack County, for example, is eligible for $1.26 million in funds, while just south of Young County, Palo Pinto is eligible for $558,005. Wise County is eligible for one of the highest amounts at $2.17 million in funding allocated by the bill.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.