Posted on Jun 07, 2017

Parker County Judge Mark Riley was Wednesday's luncheon guest speaker, telling Rotarians of his county's growth and efforts to manage that growth.

The one-time radio personality and county commissioner will in 2018 make a bid for his sixth term as judge of Parker County, overseeing the county's daily operations and budget.

Riley said while retail has grown tremendously along Interstate 20, and with the eastern portion of the county under full-blown development with the Walsh Ranch and Morning Star residential developments, he noted the growth and activity occurring to the west, especially in the areas of Brock and Dennis, which have had recent efforts to incorporate and stave off Weatherford annexation.

He said Peaster, north of Weatherford, is also looking to incorporate and become a city as a means to control their own fate and destiny.

Riley said the growth to the west impacts Mineral Wells, along with projects like the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway which currently wraps around the west side of Weatherford from Interstate 20 north to State Highway 51, with plans to continue the capital improvement project east from SH 51, past FM 720 and tie it back into U.S. Highway 180 to give commuters another option going to and from Fort Worth and Dallas.

The judge also spoke about a project in Millsap that will straighten out the sharp S-curve in the middle of town on FM Road 113 at the railroad crossing to make it safer for vehicles, trucks and school buses. He said the right-of-way is procured, and the project will include removal of a couple of older buildings on the east side of FM 113.

Riley said even though Mineral Wells and Weatherford are separated by about 20 miles, he sees the two cities as tied together in many ways, especially when it comes to transportation and travelers coming to Mineral Wells or on to Possum Kingdom Lake, and he sees the growth to the west impacting Mineral Wells in the future.

Riley, center, is pictured above with club President Jimmy Walker, left, and the day's program chair Raymond Greenwood.