P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 1997
AUSTIN - The Senate Natural Resources Committee today approved Senate Bill 728 by state Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, which would expedite the disposition of land and buildings associated with the Superconducting Super Collider. In 1989, the federal government approved construction of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in Ellis County. In 1993, the project was discontinued.
Senate Bill 728 grants landowners who were displaced a preference right in buying back land that was acquired by the state for the SSC project. Original owners or their heirs will have the opportunity to repurchase surface tracts at fair market value before they are offered to other persons.
"Many individuals were displaced during the acquisition process and it's good public policy to give them this opportunity now," Senator Nelson said.
The bill transfers the powers of the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission (TNRLC) to the General Land Office. The TNRLC was created specifically for the super sollider and will cease to exist on or before September 1 of this year. The Land Commissioner would have the authority to dedicate roads on the super collider property to the county since county-maintained roads could add value to the adjoining tracts.
The bill also allows the owners of a "surface estate" to purchase a state-owned "subsurface estate", the underground rights acquired by the state for construction of the collider tunnel.
"Landowners in Ellis County have waited a long time to have these issues resolved. Senate Bill 728 will expedite the process," Nelson commented.
Senate Bill 728 next goes before the full Senate for consideration.