Environmental Park now free to all in county


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

All Caldwell County residents will now be able to take up to 6 cubic feet of trash free of charge to the 130 Environmental Park following Tuesday’s 4-1 vote approval by the Commissioners Court.

Initially, only City of Lockhart residents could take trash to the park, but an agreement was decided upon, with only Commissioner Joe Roland voting against the measure.

The current operating hours of the 130 Environmental Park are 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Nobody worked harder than I did to keep them from coming here,” Roland said of the park.

The commissioners also approved (4-1) a resolution in support of the amended TCEQ application from the 130 Environmental Park for extended hours that would allow the landfill to accept truck deliveries an additional two hours on weekday mornings starting at 5 a.m. and adding Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The application for the extended hours is still pending approval from (TCEQ) Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Alfonso Sifuentes, Director of Public Sector Services & Community Relations for WSG (Integrated Waste Solutions Group), said he was very pleased that the court and residents provided input regarding the matter.

“We were pleased with the outcome, and we were pleased with the process allowing public comments,” Sifuentes said. “We’re pleased at how the Commissioners supported us to include Saturday hours, not only from a disposal standpoint for residents but also it could be a solution to illegal dumping.”

David Green, president of 130 Environmental Park, addressed Commissioners. He said nothing would officially become effective until TCEQ gave its approval, but the park began its new hours of operation on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Commissioner Barbara Shelton said the fact that the county should become cleaner since residents have a place to drop off materials such as tires, mattresses, etc., items that often end up on the sides of roads, was “exciting.”

The park had initially sought a 24/7 operation, but Sifuentes said they listened to concerns and made adjustments.

“When the county and its residents spoke against (24-7), we pulled back,” Sifuentes said.

Two individuals spoke in favor of the park at Tuesday morning’s Commissioners Court.

Samuel Maldonado said he lived one mile from the park and heard no sounds and had no smells from it. “I feel like it will help us,” Maldonado said.

Lori Hinkle said she felt that the park would help clean up the county.

There were opponents of the extended hours, particularly residents Byron Frederick and Susan Lane.

“I would just say to Commissioners, beware of strangers bearing gifts,” Frederick said. “I’m asking that you don’t sellout your vote for minimal return.”

When told that some residents of the McMahan community had said they were excited to have a place to take waste, Frederick replied, “I don’t really care what somebody down in McMahan thinks. I smell it. They don’t.”

Lane said people not living next to the park wouldn’t understand. “If you had it next to you, you would understand.”

The park will take 6-cubic feet (about the size of a small trailer or a pickup truck bed) of waste at no cost to city residents and will now do likewise for anyone in Caldwell County.

In other business:

Caldwell County Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Hector Rangel, asked for the Burn Ban to be reinstated.

“We’ve had a few fires since our last meeting, mostly on private ranches,” Rangel said. “We had a big one off of FM 671 in an oil field. That fire was fully contained on Sunday. It was a job well done by all the fire departments that assisted.

“Rain is not predicted here until Oct. 11.”

The Burn Ban was unanimously approved by Commissioners.

Kimber Daniel resigned from her post as Caldwell County Elections Administrator on Sept. 12 for health reasons. Commissioners read a resolution approving County Clerk Teresa Rodriguez to handle the Election Administrator duties until that role is filled. The general election is Nov. 8.

Grant Administrator Dennis Engelke noted that on Oct. 8 at 9675 Highway SH 142 in Maxwell the final community cleanup event will take place.

Engelke said the county had awarded $142,000-plus in grants and that Caldwell County Christian Ministries will receive its largest grant of $22,000.

Engelke also provided an update on the “Black Ankle Road) construction, which includes surrounding areas. He said Political, Witter, and Blank Ankle roads have all been paved, although some loose debris such as gravel needs to be swept away.

Engelke also noted that Biggs Road will be closed starting Oct. 17 but is expected to have construction done there by Dec. 14.

The approval of an agreement between the county and LCRA for radio services was tabled until further discussion and information is provided. The next Commissioner’s Court is slated for Oct. 11.


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