Conroe, April 4 – Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley, who is also now the President of the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA), and disgraced former County Judge Craig Doyal, both of whom have led the charge for more secrecy in government, lied to the citizens of Montgomery County several times during 2018 when they told the taxpayers that MCTRA would repay with interest all funds borrowed from the taxpayers general revenue fund for the County government. Doyal and Riley repeatedly told the citizens that all monies MCTRA borrowed would bear interest.
Doyal even told the Magnolia Area Republican Women on September 17, 2018, that all tollroad funds which MCTRA borrowed from the County government would be repaid “with interest.”
Even on March 19, 2019, Riley, as MCTRA President, ran a meeting of the group, which is really little more than a renamed version of the Montgomery County Commissioner Court, during which there was open discussion that MCTRA would repay the County taxpayers with interest.
During the March 19 meeting, Riley asked Montgomery County Attorney B.D. Griffin whether $425,000.00 MCTRA was finally repaying to County taxpayers was for a traffic and revenue study for the TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway. Griffin responded, “It’s for the tollroads study in August of 2013, other than 249. When the bonds were issued last year, they were going to pay off all of the loans from Montgomery County to the Toll Road Authority. That one since it was not related to 249 was not able to be paid out of the bond proceeds, so that is why it was not paid at that time…So there would be $425,000, plus whatever interest component there is that is outstanding on the loan from Montgomery County to Montgomery County Toll Road Authority.”
After the MCTRA meeting ended on March 19, this newspaper approached Montgomery County Auditor Rakesh Pandey with the question “how much will the interest be on the loan?”
On Friday, March 22, 2019, Pandey responded, “Per your verbal request after the court on 3/19/2019 re: potential interest outstanding on the loan, below is my finding: The Interlocal Agreement, effective July 15, 2013, does not provide for interest. In the agreement, there is no mention of any interest associated with this loan. Thanks, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.”
In other words, Riley, Doyal, and MCTRA took $425,000 in general revenue funds from Montgomery County taxpayers for almost six (6) years without any payment of interest. Even with the loan merely at the Prime Rate of interest at 5.50%, taxpayers should have received approximately $128,562.50 in interest for Riley’s and Doyal’s taking of funds from the County government’s general revenue funds to pay for their tollroad adventurism.
Once again, Montgomery County taxpayers have taken the Riley-Doyal tollroad debacle squarely on the chin, thanks to Riley’s and Doyal’s lies and deceit. Just wait! The TX 249 Tollway hasn’t even yet opened. The Magnolia area will experience traffic gridlock of a nature it has never yet seen. Montgomery County taxpayers have not yet seen if the $100 million, 3.1 mile, Tollway will break even financially.