With Harry Herndon Middle School set to open on Aug. 24, and it being built on hitherto undeveloped land, the Rockwall County commissioners have been brought into their second discussion in six months regarding the provision of infrastructure to the Royse City Independent School District newest campus.

In a special meeting Aug. 4, on the second motion offered, the commissioners court approved an agreement to rock Parker Road, a dirt road leading to farmland, and to put in a concrete culvert, to prevent bridge washout.

This makes it an all-weather road, and allows North Texas Municipal Water District to put in a sewer connection the school needs. The stretch of road is about 3,000 feet, and will be 15 feet wide.

NTMWD will provide the rock and haul it, at a charge of $9,269 and $5,689 respectively, to be paid by RCISD.

The court approved agreement also requires the district to pay $3,000 to blade it, and give the road a 6” base, and pay $16,400 for the concrete for the spillways.

The first motion by commissioner Precinct 4 David Magness was to not charge for the labor. It died for lack of a second.

Commissioner Precinct 3 Dennis Bailey then made a motion to have the district pay for the labor. It passed 4-1, with County Judge Chris Florance voting against it.

“We’re upgrading our road,” Magness said, to support his first motion. He acknowledged commissioner Lorie Grinnan’s comment that it would thus require more maintenance, but said would be a better value.

The road leads to farmland, and NTMWD is putting a pump station there to accommodate sewer connection to Herndon, which is located just south of Interstate 30 in Fate, near land which is expected to be home sites later.

“Normally, schools are built in city limits for reasons like this,” said commissioner Jerry Wimpee. “They got a good deal on the land and they are having to equip it with normal utilities. They made their decision and we’re trying to befriend them by providing a sewer main,” Wimpee said. “North Texas (NTMWD) wouldn’t be involved if it weren’t for the district needing a sewer.”

Similar discussion was held when the County met in February on how to handle the improvements which are now underway on Blackland Road, which fronts the new school. Both the City of Fate and the County own portions of the two-lane asphalt road. In a unanimous vote in February, the County approved an agreement in which Fate is to pay $112,650 to the County for the repair, then annex much of it, as well as Greenbriar Road.

The upgrades are expected to be completed early in the week of Aug. 9, according to the county road and bridge department. Fate has made one payment on the cost of the Fate portion, and will be making the other upon completion.

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