The Eagle Ford oil boom has been a boon on the Texas economy, injecting billions of dollars in revenue from oil & gas companies into the state’s budget. By contrast, local county governments have not seen parallel increases for their coffers, although money derived from local tax revenues and drilling fees, in some instances, have padded local county budgets.
Read more: Riches from the Eagle Ford Boom – Video
One of the most serious problems for local county governments is a direct result of the increased traffic on their roads. According to a recent KENS-TV story, it takes 1,200 18-wheelers to set up a rig, and another 350 trucks during the life of the rig for maintenance. Karnes County and DeWitt County, which are both in the heart of the oil window of the play, have consistently had active rig counts between 20 – 30, since the beginning of the year, which has equated to a lot of traffic on roads not designed for such heavy loads.
In the past 3 ½ years, $28,000,000 has gone directly to the state through right of way royalties, but less than 1% has been returned for road maintenance. Karnes and DeWitt County have forked over $16-million during the same time frame, according to the report.
Local county officials are fed up with not receiving what they feel is more adequate funding from the state for road maintenance in their areas. Now, there is talk about a coalition of county governments being formed to demand more money from Austin.