Howard County Could Charge Fee For County Road Use - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Howard County Could Charge Fee For County Road Use


By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - The increase of traffic in Howard County caused a lot of wear and tear on the roads. Now county commissioners are left trying to figure out how to pay to maintain them. One of their plans is to have drivers, hauling heavy loads, pay a fee for using the county roads; and that doesn't necessarily mean only oil and gas companies would be responsible.

"We cannot target just oil companies, this applies to everybody," Howard County Judge, Mark Barr, said.

Should county commissioners decide to impose a fee on drivers, Judge Barr says in no way will that take the financial responsibility away from the county.  

"It would only pertain to right of ways on or off the county roads," Barr said.

No decision was made at the meeting because commissioners felt they need to do more research.

"What's more than heavy weight and what price," he said.

Joe Bell, a Howard County resident, thinks the fee is a good idea. He said he knows it's not entirely the oil companies fault but the roads are in bad shape.

"Don't get me wrong, we the oil and the income and what it generates. I hate to be the one to have to say that we need to impose a fee but they need to do something," Bell said.

Howard County is the first in the area to consider this but others could follow suit.

"I've had contact with another county judge who said I want to know how this turns out. So I'm sure it'll have so repercussions in other areas," Barr said. "It's a large growing pain."

Judge Barr also told NewsWest 9 commissioners will meet with the road and bridge engineer to figure out the logistics.