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Brown County Christian academy wants nearby speed limit reduced

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BROWN COUNTY, Texas - A small Christian academy in Brown County is worried about the safety of its kids because of the speed limit on a nearby road, but an effort to reduce the speed limit is placing the school at odds with the county.

Tucked along CC Woodson Road is Victory Life Academy. It opened in 2005 and currently has nearly 100 students enrolled in its pre-K through 12th grade school.

"It's no secret to anyone who lives in Brownwood that's traveled CC Woodson, if the speed limit is 45, you have folks doing 15 to 20 miles over that," said Rick Phelps, a teacher at VLA.

On Tuesday, Phelps took his fight to reduce the speed limit to the Brown County Commissioner's Court after several accidents within the last year.

"We need to check the procedure, check with the [Texas Department of Transportation], check the costs," Brown County Judge Ray West said during Tuesday's meeting.

Victory Life Academy sits within a gray area of Brown County. It's county property but in an area where the city limits of Brownwood and Early either begin or ends.

TxDOT owns the road just north of the Christian school, which further complicates any changes to the speed.

"[We need] to come up with the specifics of what we want the school zone to be, what we want the speed limit to be," Andrew Carlson, public information officer for TxDOT, said. "That has to be approved by the Texas Transportation Commission."

The commission only meets once a month in Austin and the process for a new speed limit could take several months, according to Carlson.

"We've had several accidents," VLA Superintendent Cathy Roberts said. "People have just rammed into the backs of cars trying to turn onto the property."

She said they're in this fight for the long haul.

Brown County Judge Ray West said a reduction of the speed limit will have to go before a public hearing, which requires a 72-hour public notice.

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