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Council votes against bullet train project

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Naysayers believe rail would wall off private property


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KERENS–Kerens City Council approved a resolution Tuesday, Sept. 10 that opposes a proposed north/south high-speed rail line linking Dallas and Houston that is mapped to go through western Navarro County.
Plans show the $15 billion Texas Central Railway running on a preferred alignment that includes (in order from Ellis County) a route just east of Barry that passes near Drane, which crosses State Highway 31 and cuts between Purdon and Corbet, and continues on a line between Pursley and Richland before going into Freestone County near Wortham.
The resolution calls for the rail line to be scrapped, opposes the selected route and the use of eminent domain, and has been adopted by several city and county governments affected by the planned project, Mayor Jeffrey Saunders said. The resolution also states that if the project goes forward, the train should instead run along the Interstate 45 corridor on existing rights-of-way.
Council members also gave final approval to a municipal water rate increase of 10 cents per thousand gallons, which passes on the City of Corsicana’s Oct. 1 water rate increase directly to Kerens customers in an amount equal to Corsicana’s price jump. Corsicana sells water to Kerens, and Kerens water users will see the price change with October’s meter readings and subsequent billing, Saunders said.
Members also voted to update a contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Failure to Appear Program, which disallows driver’s license renewals of people who ignore summonses to come to municipal court or who do not pay fines. City Administrator Katherine Combs said each driver’s license hold costs $30, of which $24 goes to DPS and $6 stays with the City of Kerens.
Council also cancelled a water contract with Chatfield Water Supply Corp. The contract affects a water line that Saunders said hasn’t been used in about three years, and for which Chatfield Water Supply sought $1,500 per month to use.


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