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El Paso to receive funds for impact of oil, gas

By: Chrisdyann Uribe

EL PASO, Texas-- Texas lawmakers approved a $225 million fund that is to be divided by counties that are affected by the oil and gas industry. Although there are no oil companies near El Paso, the city will still be getting some of the funds.

The amount of money each county gets is determined by a formula included in the bill. Counties that have many oil and gas production are favored but other considerations are factored in, such as the amount of drilling-related waste and how many heavy weighted trucks travel on the roads.

 The trucks are not required to be involved in the gas and oil industry.

Since El Paso has many overweight trucks on its roads due to the U.S.- Mexico borders, it will receive funding-- but many feel it is not enough to foot the bill.

Its under $100,000. Its a one-time deal, so its good. I mean, well take anything that we can get, but our infrastructure needs are really in the millions, said Veronica Escobar, county judge.

Escobar says that border communities like El Paso need a separate fund because the amount of funds received by the state is not enough.  The less money spent on roads means more money from your wallet.

What we have to deal with all over El Paso is roadway infrastructure thats not being maintained by the state as frequently as it needs to be. When its not maintained then it erodes your vehicles. The more worn the roadway is the more that you have wear and tear on your tires, and your suspension system and things like that. Whenever TXDOT sends money for roadway infrastructure well take it, Escobar said.

Escobar isnt sure whether she wanted to apply for the fund. Applications are due in February.