Board members from Lantana’s two Fresh Water Supply Districts discussed the ramifications of a new state law regarding the authority of police to conduct traffic enforcement inside water districts at their July meeting.
House Bill 2541 requires residents living in a FWSD to formally request traffic enforcement via petition to their county commissioners, since the roads inside water districts are considered private in the eyes of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
County Commissioners Andy Eads and Ron Marchant, along with Chief Deputy Sheriff Lee Howell, answered questions from board members regarding the legislation and what steps needed to be taken to assure the public’s safety.
After a lengthy discussion, Eads and Marchant encouraged board members to pursue a petition to “clear up any confusion as to the validity of traffic citations issued inside the community.”
The bill states that a petition requesting the county extend traffic enforcement to the roads of the district must be signed by 50 percent of property owners and specify specific streets, speed limits and other traffic control devices. FWSD staff was asked to draft petition language to get the process started.
Chief Deputy Howell said that he is committed to Lantana residents’ safety and would continue regular patrols and enforce all state laws to the best of their ability. He added that the legislation did not affect the Sheriff’s ability to respond to crime-related calls in Lantana.
Residents can contact the Lantana Fresh Water District at 940-728-5050 or County Commissioner Andy Eads at 940-349-2801 with questions or concerns regarding this issue.