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RULE §22.17Memorial Markers

(a) Purpose. This section prescribes the process by which the department will allow the placement, along state highway right-of-way, of privately funded memorials honoring peace officers killed in the line of duty.

(b) Agreement. The department may execute an agreement with a non-profit corporation to fund, install, and maintain memorials honoring peace officers. A corporation must enter into an agreement with the department in a form prescribed by the department prior to any request for approval to install a memorial. Once a corporation has entered into an agreement, it may request to install a memorial in a specific location on the state highway right-of-way. Corporations desiring to install memorials must submit notice of such interest to the director of the department's Maintenance Division, along with a copy of the corporation's certificate of incorporation. The agreement will contain terms and conditions the department deems necessary to protect the privacy of the deceased peace officer and to protect the public safety, including, but not limited to:

  (1) a statement that only memorials which honor peace officers who lost their lives in the line of duty will be allowed;

  (2) a statement that the corporation must submit a separate request for each memorial it desires to install on state highway right-of-way;

  (3) a statement that the memorials will be furnished, installed, and maintained at no cost to the department, and that the corporation will correct any superficial or structural damage done to markers within 30 days of notification for superficial damage, and within 90 days of notification for structural damage;

  (4) a statement that the exact location of each memorial must be approved by the department;

  (5) a statement that the department may temporarily or permanently relocate the memorials to accommodate highway construction, reconstruction, maintenance or operations;

  (6) a statement that the exact wording on the memorials must be approved by the department, and that the name of the company supplying the markers must not appear on the marker;

  (7) a statement that the corporation must furnish and install any initial roadside signing of the memorials which meets all department requirements;

  (8) a statement that the department will furnish replacement signs if the need arises;

  (9) a statement that the department may provide and maintain turnouts, where necessary, so that motorists may view the memorials;

  (10) a statement that the corporation will not use the name of the department or refer to the department in any activity which is designed to collect funds or any activity which may lead to the collection of funds; and

  (11) a statement that, by approving the placement of a memorial, the department is not obligated to increase maintenance around the site to a level higher than it would be if the memorial were not installed on the right-of-way.

(c) Requests for specific installations.

  (1) A non-profit corporation with which the department has entered into an agreement, desiring to install a memorial on state highway right-of-way, must file a request for department approval with the district in which the right-of-way is located.

  (2) A request to install a memorial must be submitted in writing to the appropriate district engineer and must, at a minimum, include:

    (A) the memorial's size and materials;

    (B) the wording on the memorial;

    (C) the proposed location where the memorial will be installed, including county, highway, location (distance from a roadway intersection, waterway intersection, county line, etc.), and distance from the right-of-way line;

    (D) written concurrence from the family of the deceased peace officer ;

    (E) whether or not the requestor will provide any roadside signage, such as signage indicating the distance remaining until a motorist reaches a memorial marker; and

    (F) written certification from the governmental entity that employed the peace officer that the peace officer in question was killed in the line of duty.

(d) Department action. The district engineer or his or her designee will review the request and approve the installation of the memorial, and its location, if the request is in compliance with this section, subject to any additional terms and conditions deemed necessary to protect the safety of the traveling public. The district engineer or designee will send written notice of his or her determination. If the district engineer or designee does not approve the request, he or she will send written notice describing the modifications needed. These notifications will include, as appropriate:

  (1) the department's approval or a requirement that a revision be made in the request;

  (2) the approved location on the right-of-way to install the memorial;

  (3) whether or not the department wishes to have a representative present when the memorial is installed;

  (4) specific times of day when the installation may occur;

  (5) the name and telephone number of a department contact; and

  (6) any other information the department deems appropriate.

(e) Appeal. The requestor may appeal a district engineer's disapproval to the executive director or his or her designee, by submitting to that official by mail or facsimile a notice of appeal, along with the information provided to the district engineer.

(f) Specifications.

  (1) All material used in the construction and installation of the memorial must be approved by the department.

  (2) The dimensions of a memorial must not exceed four and one-half feet in height, two feet in width, and six inches in depth.

(g) Location. A memorial approved for installation under this section shall be placed as close to the right of way line as possible unless otherwise approved by the district engineer, and may not be placed:

  (1) in a location where it may prevent the driver of a vehicle from having a clear and unobstructed view of official signs and approaching and merging traffic; or

  (2) where it will cause substantial negative impact to landscape features or maintenance operations.

(h) Installation.

  (1) Once the corporation has received the department's approval to install a memorial, the corporation will have 90 days from the date of the approval to install the memorial.

  (2) If the department determines the memorial has not been installed according to this section, an agreement, or the department's approval, the department may require the corporation to relocate or remove the memorial. If so requested, the corporation will relocate or remove the memorial within 30 days. If the memorial has not been relocated or removed after 30 days has passed, the department may remove or relocate the memorial. If the department determines the memorial poses a potential hazard, the department may immediately relocate or remove the memorial without having first notified the corporation.

(i) Termination of agreement. The agreement may be canceled by either party for any reason upon 30 days written notice to the other party. Termination of the agreement will also cancel any department approval to install a memorial not yet installed.

Source Note: The provisions of this §22.17 adopted to be effective December 12, 1999, 24 TexReg 10918; amended to be effective February 18, 2010, 35 TexReg 1301

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