Grimes County resident speaks on agreement with Texas Central

Published: Apr. 21, 2017 at 1:53 PM CDT
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You could call Grimes County resident John Bertling a betting man.

"I gamble every day," Bertling said, "every time I put a truck out on the road."

Born in Houston, he always wanted to move to the Brazos Valley

"My grandmother was born in Bedias," said Bertling, "and when I was a kid I'd go see a friend of mine in Iola, and I always wanted a ranch."

Yet the owner of several properties, a trucking company, and plenty of other businesses had to take time and examine his hand when Texas Central made him an offer.

"They offered me $60,000," Bertling said, "and if they put the train through, it would give me another $500,000, so I said that's a win-win situation but how can I make this work for me?"

Just north in Leon County, no amount of money can persuade Jim Miles and his wife to give the right of way to the high speed rail after an oath he made to the previous owner.

"She said, 'I've seen so many subdivisions split up. In Texas, so much land by these big real estate places and people, and I don't want this place split up,'" Miles said. "And I said, 'As long as I live, this place will never be split up.'"

For Bertling though, it makes no difference in resisting the inevitable.

"All they're doing is making lawyers rich," Bertling proclaimed, "cause it's gonna come. We have more people moving into Texas and they're going to the suburban areas, getting out of Houston Dallas. You get lemon, make lemonade."