New Harmony residents air opinions with county officials concerning roads

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Smith County officials met with about 20 people from northwestern Smith County Thursday night (July 27) to listen to their road concerns at the third Road and Bridge Strategic Planning Citizen Input Meeting, according to public information officer Casey Murphy.

Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, Commissioner JoAnn Hampton and County Engineer Frank Davis hosted the meeting to gather residents’ opinions to develop a long-term road plan.

“I think the citizens in the New Harmony and surrounding areas appreciated us taking the meeting to them,” Hampton said. “I’d like to thank them for their participation. We had a good turnout and a productive discussion last night.”

Approximately 20 residents from Precinct 4 gathered in the New Harmony Baptist Church to talk about their roads.

On July 20, about 60 residents from Precincts 3 and 4 met at the Lindale High School, and on July 11, more than 75 residents from Precincts 1 and 2 attended a meeting at the Tyler Police Department-Faulkner Park Substation to tell officials their road concerns.

More than 200 Citizen Feedback Forms have been submitted at the meetings and online. These will help Smith County officials learn where the greatest issues are and will help them in constructing a long-term road plan.

“We have had an overwhelming response at all three meetings and online,” Moran said. “The citizens are consistently telling us that they want us to move forward with taking some action to fix their roads. They are telling us to no longer kick the can down the road.”

As part of Smith County’s commitment to strategic planning and to ensure that the county road infrastructure remains solid for decades to come, Smith County has undertaken a strategic planning process to develop a plan that identifies specific road and bridge infrastructure improvements needed in the county, sets out a timeline for making those improvements, and identifies the funding sources for such improvements.

Smith County citizens are being asked to fill out Citizen Feedback Forms either online, at the Smith County Commissioners Court offices, located at 200 E. Ferguson. They can also be found at any of the Justice of the Peace/Constable offices throughout the county.

One more Citizen Input Meeting is planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at the R.B. Hubbard Center, “The Hub,” 304 E. Ferguson, Tyler.

After a proposed road plan is compiled, additional public meetings will be held. Members of the Commissioners Court also will present the plan to civic organizations around the county.

For more information about the county’s road and bridge plan, or to submit road opinions through an online form, visit https://www.smith-county.com/Commissioners/CommunityInput/RoadImprovement.aspx

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