Monday, March 10, 2008

"It would not be impossible for Camp Allen to survive the building of the corridor or the aftermath of the project.”

Episcopal Bishop Protests Trans-Texas Corridor Alignment

Mar 10, 2008

by Will Lutz
Volume 13, Issue 29
The Lone Star Report
Copyright 2008

This month’s Texas Episcopalian, the newsletter for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, contains a Page One story headlined “TxDOT Plans Threaten Camp Allen.”

The story explains that one of the proposed alignments for the new Trans-Texas Corridor-69 through Grimes County is a Farm-to-Market road that goes right past the entrance to the camp, which is owned by the diocese and is considered one of the best camping facilities in the Episcopal Church. The diocese has started an online petition calling for the road’s alignment to be moved. (Camp Allen has existed since 1921 and has been located in Grimes County since 1977.)

“We want the project moved off of FM 362,” wrote the Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Episcopal Bishop of Texas. “There are 6000 school children alone who attend our Discovery Program each year, not to mention the 1,620 children who attend summer camp. Our guests represent every major university in the state, major healthcare facilities, and more than 170 churches from every denomination. People come to Camp Allen for retreat and renewal. It would not be impossible for Camp Allen to survive the building of the corridor or the aftermath of the project,” he added.

Wimberly has written to Gov. Rick Perry expressing his concerns on the issue. LSR has filed a public information request with the governor’s office to get a copy of both the letter and the governor’s response, and we’ll post it when we get it.

Chris Lippincott, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, explained the process to LSR. Right now, the department is seeking public comment on its Tier I Draft Environmental Impact statement, which is required by federal law.

Lippincott told LSR that issues such as the effect the alignment would have on landowners can be discussed in this process and is considered by the Federal Highway Administration. The public comments are submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, which then makes a final recommendation to the state.

After the Tier I environmental impact statement has become finalized, then the department has to begin working on a Tier II environmental impact statement, which is much more specific, as the proposed route for the road has been narrowed down.

A link to the Texas Episcopalian story is posted HERE.

© 2008, The Lone Star Report:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE