Posted by Terry Everett on Nov 06, 2019
      Grayson County Judge Bill Magers updated everyone on a few things that affect all of us.  Two major topics included taxes and roads.  Best of all, it was good news.
      Grayson County is really beginning to grow, so we need to plan for the future.  Judge Magers noted that we need to plan for the whole county and not just Sherman and Denison.  
      Housing demands are growing rapidly.  Finisar is now up and running.  Judge Magers said that as we continue to urbanize you should expect Grayson County to lower your taxes because with growth comes value and with value comes money.  As long as we limit government and take care of the basics we should be able to lower our rate and that is exactly what has been done for several years now.
      Grayson County has some unique assets.  One main asset is the ample supply of water, both surface water and ground water.  We also have clean air as we are not in the NCTCOG (North Central Texas Council of Governments) which is the DFW area.  The North Texas Regional Airport is a 14, 000 acre airport with a 10,000 foot runway outside of the DFW Air Space.  
      Next year you will begin to see a 2 lane access road to the toll road coming into Grayson County.  Here's the big thing with the toll road coming into Grayson County. We are not a part of the NTTA (North Texas Tollway Authority) which means any tolls collected will stay in Grayson County.  Judge Magers also explained how the access road coming into Grayson County will not cost our taxpayers any money.
      Panda Power has the ability to expand their plant in the future so there will always be plenty of energy as Grayson County grows.  The DFW growth path is along the 289 and 75 corridor which means Dallas is moving this way quicker than ever.  
      2020 budget highlights include lowering the property tax rate by 6% which results in an annual savings of $24 per $100,000 evaluation.  A 3.5% annual salary increase was implemented for all employees while ensuring no increase to their health insurance costs.  They invested $1.2 million to upgrade public safety communications throughout Grayson County.  The budget also maintained a healthy fund balance in preparation for capital investments in transportation and public safety in the near future.
      As a result of some great budgeting efforts over the last few years you are going to see a new jail within the next 24 to 36 months.  They aren't going to supersize the jail but will put a jail in place that is right for Grayson County.  More on this will be coming soon.
      Another indicator that growth is coming our way, just 16 miles south of Grayson County you will see a 10 lane highway.  It doesn't mean our section of US 75 is going to 10 lanes anytime soon, but down the road a ways you might see I-45 making its way through Grayson County.  US 75 is rapidly expanding to the north.       Current construction is bringing 6 lanes to within one mile of the county line.  US 75 is now 8 lanes wide just 10 miles south of us. 
      US 75 is the most direct route from Houston/Galveston to the Midwest.  US 75 is designated a freight corridor by TxDOT.  Compared to I-35 in Cooke County, US 75 has more vehicles per day and more trucks per day.  Compared to I-30 in Hunt County, US 75 has more vehicles per day.  
      ODOT is spending $152 million to improve US 75/US 69 to 6 lanes and while bringing it up to interstate standards through Calera, OK.
      US 75 from FM 1417 to Texoma Parkway will soon see improvements to bring it to interstate standards.  It is currently the only stretch of highway that isn't up to standards.  Construction is set to begin in January 2020.  
      Other highway projects currently underway include ramp reversals at FM 120 and ramp reversals at Spur 503.  Other projects include improvements of FM 691 and the widening of FM 1417 from US 82 to SH 56 to 5 lanes which will begin soon.  Planning is underway to extend SH 289 to 4 lanes into Grayson County.