After some confusion over a sentence on the “frequently asked questions” page of the Brazoria-Fort Bend Rail District, officials in charge of managing the website have removed the inaccurate information, said Bob Laza, the district’s executive director.
A 2015 study conducted by Transportations Economics & Management Systems Inc. misreported Port Freeport’s 20-foot equivalent units, which defines the amount of cargo that runs through the area annually, Laza said.
The inaccurate information appeared for a time on the website, which was brought up at the most recent board meeting, Laza said.
Laza addressed the concerns brought forward by Robert Gieseke, a member of the Citizen Advisory Panel and long-time opponent of the rail project. Gieseke shared concerns over the rail district’s website inaccuracies through a written statement.
“TEMS is a pretty sophisticated freight company,” Laza said. “They were using their professional opinion as to what they think could happen. People interpreted these numbers but somewhere along the lines, it was stated that 1.1 million TEUs could potentially go through Port Freeport annually. Somebody on TEMS thought the reported 900,000 TEUs (number reported in 2015 for Port Freeport) was based on a monthly number, but TEMs is now saying that is not correct.”
The inaccurate information is no longer on the rail district’s website as of Wednesday, Laza said.
Those concerned by inaccurate reports or misleading studies have voiced their opinions at the rail district’s recent board meetings.
“I am aware we are undergoing a feasibility study right now but we need to put good and accurate information out there from past studies,” Brazoria County Pct. 4 Commissioner David Linder said. “My perspective on this whole thing is that I just feel we need to be very transparent. The rail district along with the board — and we need to only present the facts. As I’ve said before I don’t think it’s feasible, I don’t think it’s even close to feasible.”
Standing behind his constituents and their property rights, Linder said he thinks it’s vital only the most correct information is given to the public.
“I just want to be very transparent,” Linder said. “I know (the rail district) took some information that wasn’t accurate and took it off their website and now it’s reappeared. Even if there are some goals that were met, we need to be very transparent. I just want citizens to know that as a county commissioner, I stand behind them, I believe in property rights and I believe the rail district needs to put out good information.”