SEGUIN — A resolution opposing any increases in federal limits on truck weights and lengths was approved unanimously by Guadalupe County Commissioners Court on Tuesday in the court’s first meeting of the new year.
Introducing the topic, County Judge Larry Jones said he and Precinct 2 Commissioner Kyle Kutscher participated in a conference call about the trucking proposals hosted recently by Congressman Henry Cuellar.
Kutscher said the current weight limit of 80,000 pounds would be increased to 96,000 pounds.
“State roads are constructed to handle the truck traffic; county roads are not,” Kutscher said.
He also noted that truckers can pay to get permits to exceed weight limits, but none of the money paid for such permits comes back to counties.
“They’re also going from a tandem to a triple,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Jim Wolverton said. “It’s not safe for anybody.”
“If they need to put more drivers on the road, let them do that,” Wolverton said.
Wolverton also has sent letters about the proposed increases to Cuellar, Rep. Lamar Smith and Sen. John Cornyn.
“Trucks have already been a problem for our county,” Wolverton’s letter says. “To avoid weigh stations, they travel our two-lane county roads, tearing them up, as they are not designed for this. This wear and tear costs Guadalupe County $6 million a year in road repairs, our entire budget.
“These increases will exaggerate the structural problems with our roads and bridges, not to mention endanger the motorists on our roads,” Wolverton said.
On a motion made by Kutscher and seconded by Precinct 4 Commissioner Judy Cope, the court voted 5-0 to approve the resolution.
“Large trucks already have a fatal crash involvement rate 40 percent higher than passenger cars,” the resolution says. “Heavier and longer trucks are likely to be less safe than those on the road today and make roads more dangerous.”
The resolution goes on to state that Guadalupe County Commissioners Court “opposes any legislation at any level of government that seeks to increase truck size or weight” and authorizes providing a copy of the resolution to members of Congress.
In other business Tuesday, the court approved a budget amendment allocating $10,000 for replacement of equipment installed in the training room of the sheriff’s office which serves when needed as the county’s emergency management center.
The court also approved the appointment of two part-time, paid, reserve deputy constables, Bruce Catoe and Billy Moore, for Precinct 2 Constable Jimmy Harless and the appointment of one part-time, paid reserve deputy constable, Jarrod Tubbs, for Precinct 3 Constable Michael Skrobarcek.