Plano Star-courier > News
Future of Cotton Belt murky after Fort Worth vote
When the Plano City Council threw its support behind efforts to create a special taxing district along the proposed Cotton Belt Railway corridor, spirits were high that other cities would do the same.
Two weeks later, those hopes have been dashed as Fort Worth, the second largest of the 13 cities along the 62-mile corridor, has said it will not support efforts to create a special district to help pay for the project.
The project's organizers hoped to have all cities on board when they went to legislators and asked them to create the district that would stretch across three counties from Plano to Fort Worth.
As reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Fort Worth City Council voted 6-2 to not support the legislation, citing conflicts with the city's own proposed TEX Rail project, as well as a desire to maintain local control over the land inside the corridor. With no cost figures announced in regard to how much each city would pay for the project, Fort Worth Councilman Jungus Jordan told the paper supporting the legislation would be "tantamount to issuing a 'blank check.'"
With Friday's legislation filing deadline quickly approaching, it remains to be seen if any legislators will file a bill to create the district without the support of all cities.
In Plano, City Manager Bruce Glasscock said he is not sure what the Fort Worth vote means, adding that it is not necessary that all sides be in agreement. Still, he admitted, it would have been easier to convince the legislature to create the district if there was unanimous support along the corridor.
At the time of Plano's approval, Glasscock said supporting the resolution did not mean the city supported the creation of the district, only that city leaders wanted to see the process move to the next step.