NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The proposed Interstate 69 project took center stage at the Nacogdoches City Council meeting Tuesday night.
The council discussed a proposal to agree with TXDOT on the proposed route of the project. The council said the proposed route will take the interstate from the intersection of Highway 59 and the south loop around the west loop and up to the intersection of 59 and Highway 259.
"I don't think people are going to be able to imagine the positive results because of I 69," said mayor Roger Van Horn.
The plans discussed at the meeting also included the construction of a connector ramp from 59 to the west loop.
The project's cost on Nacogdoches and the county will be large. it is estimated at $21 million, with $6 million of that being charged to the city.
"It will cost, but we need change," Van Horn said. "There will be an increased flow of products from the gulf because of increased shipments to the ports. Those shipments will be going through East Texas."
Van Horn said to cover the cost they will need to find a new stream of revenue.
"We don't have a state income tax," Van Horn said. "That can be good, but it still doesn't change the need of funds for projects."
City officials say the best way to form a new stream of income is to increase the road and bridges fee charged to residents. Right now, the fee is $10 per year. The proposal calls for an increase to $20 per year. The change would result in an added $500,000 per year. City Manager Jim Jeffers said the proposed rate would not go into effect until the project started and would only go until the $21 million was raised.