As I watch the Wylie City Council meeting, and I see the fine people of Wylie coming together, telling their stories, and pleading for a resolution against a toll road in Wylie, I cannot help but feel as though the Texas Turnpike Corporation is not exactly being altogether on the up and up in this deal.
From their behavior, it is clear they have been surveying and making studies of the area in Wylie's Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), or the unincorporated portions of Wylie. Yet at the Garland Tea Party meeting a couple weeks ago, they claim they were not conducting any surveys. I have eyewitnesses that have seen them out there on the land. At that meeting I told those people to grab their cell phones and take photos and videos of them working and of the markers, which one man tonight said he had. So who exactly is lying here? I would be inclined to believe the citizens.
The NTCOG and the Texas Turnpike Corporation state they have not selected an actual route yet. Really? So why are there survey flags in the area then? Can they explain why money would be spent on surveys and soil collection in an area that only might be selected? Pshaw.
Thankfully, it is clear that our council is sympathetic to the plight of those who live in the unincorporated areas of Wylie. Council, and most importantly Mayor Hogue recognize that we are all family no matter which of the three counties, Collin, Dallas, and Rockwall that are blessed with Wylie residents.
So what can be done? Requests for a resolution are being made, one after another at the council meeting tonight. It is thought that a resolution may not include the ETJ so City Manager Mindy Manson is going to look into whether a resolution can include the ETJ or not.
It seems to me that the Texas Turnpike Corporation is merely hell-bent on building this road, since they have never been successful in doing so. It is concerning that they are not announcing local meetings on their website and many people have had to find out through word of mouth. They do not disseminate information in any sort of timely manner, they hold the right of eminent domain, they have yet to narrow down the paths and recommend a route, and they have yet to provide any zoomed in maps.
I too, was put off when I reached out to them to hold a meeting in Wylie. Neal Barker's response was:
I’m being asked not to do public presentation before the 9/22 meeting so that the NCTCOG can officially make their recommendation and then our process can begin. That being said, we’re scheduled to present in Royce City on 9/23. Can you facilitate a meeting on 9/30 or 10/2?
I’m hopeful to have more detailed maps to show by that time. If you are available during the day, perhaps I can meet you around town and share what I know currently about the preliminary routes as they relate to Wylie.
I asked several questions that went unanswered. Not only that, where was this 'proposed route' announced that he referred to? It is clear there was no recommended route was presented at the September 22nd meeting in Rockwall. I have reached back out to see if he agrees to meet or if that was just hot air. I will report back on this.
The Texas Turnpike Corporation claims they will not build in an area where they are not wanted. One thing is clear, the citizens of Wylie unanimously reject a toll road going through our town, no matter where it is.