Letters – Reader criticizes hearing coverage
To the Editor:
I attended the March 26 contested case hearing and read the Lockhart Post-Register recap, however, I noticed some crucial facts were overlooked and I would like to bring those facts to light.
First, Tracy Bratton, the Civil Engineer who served as the County Consultant Engineer and was the primary author of the County’s Development Regulations, testif
ied that the preliminary plat initially submitted by Green Group Holdings to Caldwell County around June 2014 included the legal division of the land but did not include any information on the proposed construction of the landfill. And although the preliminary plat was approved, it did not include any review of an application for solid waste disposal nor the effects it would have on various areas that the county has authority (i.e., floodplains, surface water).
According to Bratton, the purpose of the preliminary plat was to create a new legal division of property boundaries, but did not address any of the proposed construction within the property – namely a landfill!
Bratton further stated that he has concerns regarding the three or four roadway crossings of the FEMA floodplain on the site. He also noted the extremely steep grading immediately adjacent to the floodplain and had “immediate reservations about the ability to ever stabilize the proposed grades that close to the floodplain and not have long term perpetual storm water runoff from the property.”
Additional important information omitted from the LPR recap was the judges’ decision to grant party status to Plum Creek Conservation District. Robert Wilson, attorney for PCCD, stated that while PCCD is neither opposed nor in favor of the proposed landfill, in order for them to seek information on what the applicant plans to do within their easement and within the area of the lake on the property, the District chose to seek party status. Wilson stated he has heard various statements regarding what Green Group plans to do within PCCD’s easement and within the area of the lake on the property so the District wants clarification so that they can know whether or not those plans would interfere with their operations.
A final point, in order to officially qualify as an “affected party,” one must live within a mile of the proposed dumpsite. However, I would argue that anyone who relies upon the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer for water – which is all of us – are, in fact, affected parties whether they choose to acknowledge it or not.
In closing, my heartfelt gratitude to our County Commissioners for their heroic stand to request party status which will give Caldwell County residents a voice in the upcoming proceedings.
with Ann Collier