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May 01 2013

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SB 1327: Toll road construction project and public utilities

East Texas Review

Dear Editor:

I sincerely hope the Legislature will enact SB 1327. This bill deals with toll road construction projects and public utilities, which operate in the right-of-way. Currently, any cost of moving public utilities is shared between the utility (and thus its customers) and the toll road project. If SB 1327 is not passed, ALL of these costs will shift to the utility and its customers.

Moving utilities out of the way of highways can be very expensive. Utilities must pass those costs on to their customers in the form of higher rates, or they must reduce their planned investment in new facilities, such as new cell sites. East Texans would be better served to have more wireless telephone and Internet service, and lower utility bills, than to cover someone else’s costs.

Toll road construction costs should be paid for by the people who drive on them, not all the electric, gas and telephone customers, many of whom will never drive on the road. SB 1327 needs to pass so East Texans can receive better utility services and not have to pay the hidden costs of toll projects.

Jackie DeNoyelles

Lake Palestine, Texas

Photo Courtesy Stock.xchng

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