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Letters – Author lists frustrations about Emerald

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To the Editor:
In response to the editorial (Jan.3, 2008) entitled, “Resident opposes jail, but wanted facts,” the word “TRUTHFUL” was omitted between the words “wanted” and “facts.”
We also attended the Lytton Springs session, but we were very impressed by the control of the frustrated residents! Numerous “frustrations” were, in our opinion, justified.
Fru

stration No. 1: Short notification, (six days) of this session to be held two days after Christmas. A request was made asking that the session be delayed two weeks allowing area residents to return home and/or entertaining family and guests more flexibility. We were told no other date was convenient for Emerald.
Frustration No. 2: Very little (if any) notification of this session was provided to the residents.
Frustration No. 3: Information reported in the Austin Statesman (Dec.11, 2007) regarding the proposed detention facility, erroneously stated that the proposed site was sparsely populated as only one or two homes were within a two-mile radius. In reality, there are at least 45 homes located along a road within 1 mile of the site…less than a mile if measured “as the crow flies.” (This count does not include several homes located directly on the proposed road site).
Frustration No. 4: Dec. 20, 2007, the editor of the Post-Register reported, “according to Emerald, the detainees would be neither families nor violent offenders…” At the session, when the Emerald representative was asked if violent offenders would be at this facility, he declared that neither Emerald nor the county had any control over the status of the detainees held there!
Frustration No. 5: At the session, the representative stated that “no bonds” would be used, as all monies are coming from private investors. This, he said, would eliminate all ” risk” to the county. These three factors were stated on Page 1 of the handout. However, on Page 7 of the handout, the Emerald chart depicts a bond agreement to be made between Caldwell County elected officials and the investors. The representative stated it was the county”s responsibility to fill the 1,000 beds (for 18 years). When asked “Who pays the bonds if the beds are not filled?” No answer was given and the representative moved on to another question. (Sounds like higher taxes for us)!
Frustration No. 6: When Emerald was asked how the county would benefit from the 200 plus jobs to be made available, in light of the fact that the county had trouble filling/retaining employees at the Lockhart GEO facility, Mr. Moore”s answer was that the Emerald facility would have to “steal” GEO”s employees! (Huh)?
Nowhere on the handout was mentioned the huge toll to be taken on the county”s infrastructure and the gigantic amount of water (2 – 2.5 million gallons per month) to be used by this facility!
Due to the 500 words limit set by the paper, additional “frustrations” had to be omitted.
The largest “frustration” however, is this – if the concerned residents of Caldwell County can research and discover the multiple negatives of this endeavor, why wouldn”t our elected officials, as well as the local newspaper (whose job it is to ” keep their readers informed”) inform US of this “RISKY” and RESOURCE DEPLETING ENDEAVOR??
Susan Prescott
Lytton Springs

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