Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moody, Texas displays growth in a global economy

Moody – If it wasn't for the Santa Fe, Moody, Texas would not be located where it is.

The line heads directly for Houston and the Port of Galveston, which at one time meant cotton and grain headed south, lumber, petroleum and imported goods headed north.

According to Mr. Dick Van Dyke of the local Chamber of Commerce, until the hundred-plus car coal trains began to pass each other both north and south bound, there wasn't much of a problem.

High cube loads like coal were not the shipping priority that they have become.

But now the massive Burlington Northern/Santa Fe freights lay in a hole just north of town, and as soon as the northbound with its empties clears the tracks, a southbound laden with coal for the electrical power power plants down the line starts its slow resumption to speed.

It can take as long as 15 minutes to cross the tracks. Population, businesses, buildings and homes are about equally divided on either side of the tracks.

In emergencies, the result can be disastrous in a town where there was once only one fire station, located on the west side of the tracks.

“You could always predict the timing,” says Mr. Van Dyke. “You could just run down the line, beat the train, and go to the east side of the tracks.”

With the advent of coal as the fuel of choice for Texas electrical power generating stations, those days are over.

That's why the city dedicated the new Culpepper Fire Station, located right under the city's water tower only two blocks east of the tracks, last Saturday on a sweltering 100-degree-plus day promptly at 1 p.m.

David Culpepper, now deceased, spent 20 years in dedicated service to the Moody Volunteer Fire Department, 13 of them as Fire Marshall and Assistant Fire Chief. He also served as Director of Public works in this city of 1,437 located in the rich bottom lands of the valley of the Leon River.

Untypically, the population is up 2.6% in the most recent census; median income is $31,994, which lags behind the Texas median of $48,259, and the median age of 36 is a little older than the 32 years found in the state at large.

Cotton is king, and grain farming is a close second, evidenced by the gin and granary, bank, post office, supermarket, numerous churches, a thriving library, and the requisite auto parts and hardware outlets.

Coal is in the news following the Environmental Protection Agency's release of new standards which will allow 27 states from New York to Texas reduce power-plant emissions through trading with companies who exceed the limits.

Cap and trade procedures first proposed by the George Bush administration and rejected by a Federal court would have allowed unlimited trading among all states. Under the new standards, only power plants within the same state will be allowed unlimited trading, while interstate trading will be limited within two regional groups.

Industry spokesmen say the new standards which mandate limits for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, a component of ground level ozone and a main ingredient of smog, will cost power plant operators billions, possibly adding as much as 20% to electrical bills.

1 comment:

  1. Moody was located near Perry Cemetary in the beginning.
    After the railroad, Moody moved to its current location.