Section 9: Unknown Utility OwnershipAnchor: #i1003473
Determining the ownership and authorized agent of the utility can be accomplished by:
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- visiting with people being served by the facility; Anchor: #XNEOQKTA
- checking with the owners or representatives of similar facilities in the area; Anchor: #BFCDNLQW
- contacting the landowners where the utility is located; Anchor: #VONASMJI
- reviewing TxDOT permits and Joint Use Agreements in the area; Anchor: #GGKXCHDD
- investigate other adjacent roadway utilities; or Anchor: #TAATLROQ
- contacting county maintenance personnel or commissioners.
Cooperative facilities may be used by consumers who are unaware that the facilities are consumer-owned, or that the original members of a cooperative may no longer exist. Yet, the cooperatives are responsible for the adjustment of utilities. This situation may be remedied by the following methods:
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- Call the consumers using the facilities to a meeting. Have the TxDOT Utility Liaison explain the scope of the project and potential impact on the facilities. Anchor: #TPRTFDOR
- If the cooperative is unable to fund their portion of the required adjustment, inform them of financing options. These include SIB and State's Hardship Financing Fund and other than State sources, e.g., bond.
When ownership cannot be determined and the utility is not abandoned or inoperative, TxDOT will exhibit a good faith effort by publishing its intention to abandon the utility according to State or industry standards using a citation by publication. This should be accomplished in the same manner as that for a right of way parcel; refer to the ROW Eminent Domain Manual, Appendix A - Eminent Domain Guide, Sections 3 and 8. Another method of handling this situation could be leaving the utility in place through highway design mitigation.