Name change: SDMPO re establishes its self GC MPO

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Grayson County Judge announces name change for local MPO.

The Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization officially changed its name on Sept. 29 to the Grayson County MPO.

When the MPO was founded in 1980, it was named the Sherman-Denison MPO because collectively the two cities made up sixty percent of the total population of Grayson County. However, today they comprise less than 50 percent and that population trend will only increase as we continue to grow and our transportation needs increase county-wide.

"Just as a quick reminder, the MPO is the organization that basically accesses us federal funds for our roads, major road projects," Grayson County Judge Bill Magers told commissioners Tuesday. "It consists of the county judge, the mayors of Sherman, the mayors of Denison, and a revolving small cities mayors and mayors of cities along Preston Road and 75. Right now Van Alstyne is on the board."

 He also noted this change also helps ensure that Sherman and Denison receive more transportation dollars as well.

“In 2018, the geographic footprint of the Sherman-Denison MPO was actually expanded to include all of Grayson County,” MPO Executive Director  Clay Barnett said in a news release sent after the meeting.

"The name change more accurately reflects our scope of service and more clearly defines our boundarie,.” Van Alstyne Mayor Jim Atchison added in that release. “It’s important to include every person in the county in our population count. Updating our name gives us the opportunity to capture the people living in a high density development that may not be in any city limits.”

MPO’s are federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organizations that are governed by a local board. They play a key role in the transportation funding process and help ensure cooperation in regional transportation planning.

“Five years from now, Grayson County is going to look a lot different than it does today with the growth primarily coming from the south,” said Sherman Mayor David Plyler in the release. “By working together, we have done a really good job of maintaining independence and planning for the future without being overrun by encroachment from the metroplex.”

Denison Mayor Janet Gott concluded, “I believe maintaining the integrity of our county is very important. We face stiff competition for transportation funding and not just in the MPO. This action helps us better define and protect our interests.” For more information on the Grayson County MPO, please visit: www.sdmpo.orgey.

Grayson County Commissioner Bart Lawrence said the move makes it easier to explain to people in the county that it is all Grayson County so any money in or out is for everyone in the county.