Kate Johnson Remarks to Senate Transportation Committee supporting SB 1221, March 27, 2019.
Good Morning, Chairman Nichols and Honorable Senators.
My name is Kate Johnson and I am the Chairwoman of the Hays County Historical Commission.
I am in support of Senate Bill 1221.
In fact, all of the members of the Hays County Historical Commission are in support of this bill. And the Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a Resolution in support of the bill last December.
This bill simply honors William B. Travis in Hays County by naming a portion of FM 150 as “the William B. Travis Heritage Trail.”
I know its not necessary for me to give any of you a history lesson on this legendary historical figure in Texas History. But, this is important to us locally because William Barret Travis purchased a league of land in Hays County from Ben Milam in 1835. Following his death at the Alamo, Travis left this land to his two children: his seven year old son, Charles Edward Travis, and his five year old daughter, Susan Isabella Travis.
FM 150 runs through the center of this league, just south of the community of Driftwood.
In addition to honoring the important legacy of this Texan, the William B. Travis Heritage Trail would benefit small businesses in the area and promote tourism along FM 150 in the Hill Country. It would also promote the preservation of the cultural and historical resources of the area.
It simply honors a great defender of the Alamo on the local level in Hays County and promotes heritage tourism through our beautiful Hill Country.
I respectfully urge you to support SB 1221.
In 1835 William B. Travis purchased a league of land from the Mexican Government. Travis was granted this purchase under Empresario Benjamin Rush “Ben” Milam’s effort to colonize central Texas land which included that which is now identified as being in Hays County. FM 150 West dissects this (4,428 acres) league of land approximately one mile south of Driftwood.
Travis died as a hero in 1836 in the battle of the Alamo. The property was left to his 7 year old son, Charles Edward and 5 year old daughter, Susan Isabella. Ben Milam was killed in the siege of Bexar in 1835, also as an “indomitable” Texas hero.
A local effort is currently underway to designate FM 150 West as The William B. Travis Trail to honor this great hero who died in the battle of the Alamo.
The Driftwood Historical Conservation Society was created as a direct result of the FM 150 West Corridor Study. Various members of the DHCS served on the Corridor Study Citizen Advisory Panel and many members participated in Corridor Study meetings. The DHCS and its committees worked closely with the Corridor Study team to provide input concerning the opinions of the Driftwood community. The DHCS is proud to have been a part of this study and wish to thank the Corridor Study Team and County Commissioners for working together to meet community concerns and Hays County needs.
From the Project Team:
After 3 years of studying the FM 150 corridor west of Arroyo Ranch to RM 12, working closely with the community, and evaluating potential options, the Hays County Commissioners Court accepted the FM 150 Character Plan: Final Report and Master Plan on October 10, 2017. The full report with appendices is available on the project webpage and can be downloaded here: www.improvefm150.com. Also available on the website is the FM 150 West Character Plan: Corridor Features and Themes Report that was produced at the end of Phase 1 in 2016. We have also made printed copies available at the Hays County Precinct 3 office (200 Stillwater Road in Wimberley), and at Commissioner Whisenant’s office (195 Roger Hanks Parkway in Dripping Springs) for public viewing.
Hays County and the FM 150 project team wish to express their gratitude to the Citizens Advisory Panel, residents and business owners of Hays County for your participation in this process. We have enjoyed meeting with everyone and hearing your input on this study. Your feedback has been instrumental in developing the Character Master Plan, which will guide the County and other local agencies in future decisions regarding the FM 150 corridor west of Arroyo Ranch to RM 12.
Now that the FM 150 Character Plan: Final Report and Master Plan is complete, the County will move forward with some short-term safety projects. The first two projects to move into the full design phase are the intersection improvements at FM 3237 and at RM 12. The County will be posting information about these and other projects that are elements of the County’s 2016 Road Bond Program in the near future.